Dh3bn turnover helps exchanges add 50 points

Combined turnover on the UAE markets topped Dh3 billion for the fifth time in six sessions to help the exchanges add 50 points between them yesterday.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange claimed the bulk of these gains, rising 0.89 per cent to 5,005 points – the first time in a week it has closed above 5,000 – leaving the Dubai Financial Market in its shadow.

The DFM's General Index edged up 0.12 per cent to 5,704 points as the usual curse of profit taking wiped out most of its early gains, whittling its advance down from an intraday peak of 31 points to just under seven. However, it could have been worse but for a late rally in Emaar, which boosted the overall market by around 0.1 per cent.

"The markets were pretty good, with Abu Dhabi more active than Dubai and so there's obviously more liquidity and therefore volatility in the capital," said

Ayman El Saheb, Darahem Financial Brokerage director of operations.

"Certain stocks such as Sorouh, Dana Gas and Agthia have been selected and are being played with heavily.

"Dubai has been slow and stagnant, with flat trading and whenever there's a lack of liquidity it's hard for day traders to make money, so they move where the action is, which for the time being means Abu Dhabi," said Saheb.

The ADX was the most active of the two indices for the sixth session running, with 627 million shares changing hands compared to Dubai's 249m. The capital's recent favourites were top of the volume charts once more, with the five most active stocks all advancing.

Dana Gas saw 265m shares snapped up to make it the most traded stock.

This propelled it up 4.85 per cent to Dh2.18, its best finish since April 7, although it has fallen by a fifth from mid-January's 52-week high of Dh2.70.

Rak Properties was second on the volume chart and it climbed 0.86 per cent to Dh2.31, although it must break Dh2.35 to reverse its ongoing medium term downtrend. Breaching this figure would give investors a clear buy signal, according to technical analysis from Shuaa Capital.

Third-placed Agthia overshadowed the other high-volume stocks, leaping 7.41 per cent as speculators further swelled its price.

Indeed, Agthia closed at a new all-time high of Dh2.61 with yesterday's volume more than ten times its 12-month average.

"The outlook is positive," said Saheb.

"People are quite excited, especially about Abu Dhabi, but I would be cautious because we are approaching the month end and everybody knows what that means."

He is referring to new rules introduced by the UAE regulator earlier this year to ensure separation of brokerage accounts. This means brokers have to close clients' positions at the end of each month and so the last week of the month typically sees something of a sell-off, followed by stagnant trading.

Saheb said: "Trading will be tricky this week as investors try to book profits from recent gains. We should see profit taking on Tuesday and Wednesday."

Interest in Arkan appears to be waning, with the stock only the fourth most traded on the ADX, whereas of late it has usually been the most active share by some distance.

Arakan did increase, however, this time by 1.26 per cent to Dh5.64, but it traded in a narrow 1.6 per cent range, which indicates it may be settling down after a tumultuous two months.

Aldar was arguably the most significant gainer, surging 4.31 per cent to Dh12.35, which is its highest this year and the first time it has finished above Dh12 since January 14.

In the capital, the energy and real estate sectors made the largest advances, with the likes of Taqa and Sorouh surging 3.94 and 1.45 per cent, respectively, to add to their rivals' gains listed above.

Two of the ADX's heavyweights struggled, which limited the advance of the overall market. The culprits were etisalat and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, with this pair falling 0.24 and 0.47 per cent respectively.


Union Properties impresses

In contrast to the ADX, the most active stocks on the Dubai bourse struggled to make any headway. Top trader Gulf Navigation closed unchanged, as did fourth placed DFM Company.

Sandwiched in between were Air Arabia and Deyaar, which both added half a percent or less.

Only Union Properties, the fifth-most active stock, impressed, adding 1.78 per cent to take its gains since last Monday to just under 10 per cent. Technical analysis shows Union Properties' five day and five week trends are both up.

The stock faces resistance at Dh5.20 and yesterday had to settle for a close of Dh5.16, having touched an intraday high of Dh5.23. With Union Properties not yet overbought, the company could soon be targeting its secondary hurdle of Dh5.60.

The property boom in the UAE shows no sign of abating and the stock market offers an alternative way to profit from this bubble without buying properties outright.