The UAE markets overcame profit taking to close in the green for the second session running. The Dubai Financial Market climbed 0.47 per cent to 5,843 points, eclipsing the rise of the Abu Dhabi Securities Market, which advanced 0.41 per cent to 5,045.
"Yesterday saw some profit taking, which was to be expected after the gains of late last week, but it was within acceptable boundaries and didn't stop the market moving upwards," said Ayman El Saheb, Darahem Financial Brokerage director of operations.
These gains were achieved on the back of improving turnover, with combined trading worth almost Dh3 billion yesterday.
Dubai claimed the bulk of this, thanks to bumper demand for Amlak Finance, DFM company, Air Arabia and Gulf Navigation, which all saw more than 55 million shares change hands. Among this quartet, Amlak was the star, surging 2.42 per cent, while DFM Company and Air Arabia added 1.3 and 0.96 per cent respectively.
Perhaps of more significance, however, was Emaar's 0.86 rise to Dh11.75, having reached an intraday high of Dh11.90. The developer has added 2.2 per cent over the past two sessions, while the market has increased by 1.83 per cent over the same period.
Gulf navigation was unchanged on Dh1.67, despite shifting huge volumes as local speculators take positions ahead of probable approval from the UAE regulator to allow foreign ownership of up to 20 per cent of the company's shares.
"Gulf Navigation is the cheapest stock on the Dubai index and its first quarter results are good, so a lot of investors believe it will break Dh2 once ownership rules are relaxed," said Saheb. Another stock to watch could be Aramex, despite closing flat on Dh2.60 yesterday, with the logistics provider offering three strong entry points for investors yesterday. Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Securities Market saw volumes top Dh1 for the third time in five sessions as investors snapped up energy stocks. Two companies – Aabar and Dana Gas –accounted for more than half of all trading in the capital.
Aabar was most in demand, with 101m shares changing hands to help it leap 5.67 per cent to Dh3.63, while Dana Gas climbed 2.93 per cent to Dh2.11.
Waha – formerly known as Oasis International Leasing – was third on the volume charts and it also closed in the green, rising 2.54 per cent. Waha was a former favourite for investors and during market slowdowns regularly topped investors shopping lists, but since November it been stuck in a sideways range, with yesterday's volume of 31m markedly down on its 52-week average of 53m. The activity in the above stocks pushed the usual standard bearers Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate into the shade, although the former did climb 0.45 per cent to Dh11.95 and its highest close since mid-January. Sorouh found it tougher going, slipping 0.31 per cent. It has now lost 40 fils in less than two weeks. Abu Dhabi is following a similar a path to Dubai, having closed above a significant prop at 5,000 points.
"The ADSM has outperformed the DFM this year and in many ways is the stronger market," said Mohammed Ali Yasin, Emirates Securities managing director.
"The capital's real estate stocks will be among the market leaders, particularly with Cityscape Abu Dhabi being held next week.
"If investors see average price per square foot rising significantly then this could send the likes of Aldar and Sorouh soaring because they can achieve higher margins."
Local players shape DFM
Local players will continue to shape the fate of the Dubai Financial Market, despite foreign funds becoming more active. This is because overseas institutions are loathe to shape the markets themselves and so keep their trading at between 30 and 40 per cent of turnover, according to Mohammed Ali Yasin, Emirates Securities managing director. He also believes the heralded return of non-UAE investors has been exaggerated.
"I don't think foreign funds ever stopped trading in the UAE market – it's part of their portfolio so they're not going to just close up shop for a month," said Yasin.
"They never stop trading, but will move with the market and try to retain a third of turnover."
Instead, Yasin says the movement of local institutions and high net worth players will be the source of any market momentum.
He is one of many analysts to give an upbeat outlook for the DFM's General Index, although he does offer some caution amid the optimism.
"Day traders and local speculators remain the dominant force in the market, so it's difficult to offer a longer term forecast with any certainty," said Yasin.
"So as long the market keeps the gains from each small rally this will represent decent progress."
Nevertheless, Yasin said the DFMGI was consolidating at new support levels above 5,800 points.
"This is an important milestone, especially for people who pay close attention to technical analysis. Even if the market goes sideways, but stays above this prop, it will be positive," he added.
Amjad Bakir, Mac Sharaf Securities trading manager, is more forthright, confidently anticipating a bullish surge for the Dubai bourse.
"The Dubai index will go to 6,000 points after the Dow Jones closed above 13,000 on Friday," Bakir said
"Volumes will increase slowly and the whole market will go up this week. There was strong accumulation in the first hour of trading yesterday, which is a good sign," he added.