The Dubai bourse confounded expectations to fall 30 points on Thursday as the predicted improved volumes failed to materialise, but Abu Dhabi snapped a two-day losing streak to climb 0.64 per cent.
Trading on the Dubai Financial Market General Index was disappointing, with Thursday's turnover a meagre Dh1.2 billion. This compares to Monday's week best of Dh2.5bn.
None of the five most active stocks made gains. Top trader Gulf Navigation fell by less than one per cent, together with Amlak Finance and DFM Company, while Air Arabia was unchanged. All sectors fell, apart from utilities. "The market is moving sideways for the time being," said Amjad Bakir, Mac Sharaf Securities trading manager. "Dubai closed above a support level and the main trend is still up, despite yesterday's decline."
Deyaar surprised many analysts by slipping back further, losing 2.1 per cent to become Dubai's second worst performer following the cancellation of a deal with an Indian property developer. The wooden spoon was reserved for National Cement, which dropped 4.34 per cent to more than wipe out Wednesday's gains.
Emaar was static, while du and Dubai Islamic Bank both lost ground. Arabtec bounced back following Wednesday's losses, this time rising 0.31 per cent to Dh16.05. "If Emaar can close at Dh11.95 or above, it could reach Dh12.35 next week, while Amlak will target Dh5.17," said Bakir. Amlak closed on Dh4.97.
Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange offered some relief, with twice as many stocks increasing as declining, despite volumes below the month average. This helped the index close up 32 points at 5,035.
The major gainers were all small cap companies such as International Fish Farming and Abu Dhabi National Takaful, with this pair jumping almost 10 per cent. These stocks are low traded so it typically takes a big offer to find a seller when they're in demand. Sudatel also prospered, as predicted by Emirates Business on Thursday, surging 3.58 per cent.
Unlike Dubai, the capital's most active stocks also advanced. Arkan was again the top trader as it increased for the seventh time in eight sessions and is sure to suffer some profit taking next week.
Dana Gas saw 31 million shares change hands to place it second on the volume chart, but it traded to a standstill. Sorouh Real Estate climbed 1.38 per cent to Dh9.53, recording the largest gain among companies with volumes of more than 10m. "Sorouh can hit Dh10.20 to Dh10.50 next week," said Bakir.
He recommends Abu Dhabi National Energy – also known as Taqa – at around Dh3.55, saying it could touch Dh3.70 next week. Taqa closed up 2.3 per cent at Dh3.58 on Thursday.
Aldar Properties added 0.43 per cent to close on Dh11.75, although it remains 10 per cent below its 52-week high of Dh13.05.
Finally, DP World endured another grim day on the Dubai International Finance Exchange, falling 2.91 per cent to $1, its lowest close since April 21. More than 6m of its shares changed hands.
Meanwhile, Depa's renaissance stalled, although it held onto recent gains to closed unchanged on $1.47.