Equities likely to stay upbeat

DUBAI — UAE stock markets are expected to maintain the upward trend this week as investors’ interests in equities reignited following strong earnings, higher oil prices and a second bailout for Greece.

By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Sun 26 Feb 2012, 10:36 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:18 AM

Fund managers and analysts also expect profit-taking or sideways consolidation at some points that may drag the market down.

The Dubai Financial Market’s General Index rose 7.66 per cent last week, while trading volumes surged to 564.43 million on the weekend compared to 299.14 million shares in the previous week.

“The index continued rising on Thursday closing above the short-term resistance level of 1,620 at 1,632.27 points. It is currently targeting the next resistance level 1,690 points during the next few sessions,” according to a technical analysis by Mubasher Info.

“The DFM and ADX have seen some very positive performances last week. Investors’ interest in equities has been reignited and smaller cap stocks such as Deyaar, Tabreed and Union Properties have been the focus of interest. International interest in regional markets is high with volumes increasing tremendously,” Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s Asset Management Group, told Khaleej Times. He said UAE stocks have, in general, been driven by strong fourth-quarter results and higher-than-expected dividend announcements.

The Abu Dhabi market also recorded 2.61 per cent growth with a steady rise in trading volumes. “The main index is still expected to continue upwards targeting resistance zone 2,550 to 2,560 points,” according to Mubasher Info.

“The DFM and the ADX have been firm this week in line with the rest of the region. Volumes have been high and local investors have been quite active, driving both markets higher despite foreign investors being net sellers,” Mashreqbank portfolio manager Ibrahim Masood told Khaleej Times.

The Dubai market is up about 19 per cent year-to-date and is at its highest level since May 2011. The increasing volumes indicate that the optimism is returning to the market that may keep the equities in upward directions, according to fund managers.

“Strong oil price and expanding trade with Asia continues to underpin regional economies. I would expect the positive momentum to continue but to a lesser degree than has recently been the case,” Khokhar said.

“We believe a lot of the current gains are due to investor expectations of a Greek debt deal, which have been more or less met. It would not be realistic to expect significant further gains solely on the back of a Greek debt resolution. The focus is now likely to shift to the performance of eurozone economies in the medium term,” Masood said. “Earnings season is now over; Emaar’s AGM and any decision on dividend announcement by the company is likely to be the most significant catalyst; in our opinion, a cash dividend by Emaar will see a positive reaction from investors.”

In reply to a question about the regional markets, he said it is important to note that Mena markets have broadly been firming up in line with global markets.

“Globally, a lot of the good news in terms of the Greek bailout [and others] are already out; it will be interesting to see what kind of international lead is present this week, that will be a significant factor in determining how our markets do. It is possible that there is some consolidation after recent gains,” Masood said.

“Saudi Arabia has benefitted from a strong domestic infrastructure story with an expectation of increased spend and also from strong indications that foreign participants will soon be able directly purchase Saudi stocks,” Khokhar said.


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