UAE shares rebound on technicals; Kuwait slumps

Shares in the UAE on Thursday recovered some losses from the previous session on a technical rebound, while other regional markets were mixed after the global sentiment turned cautiously positive.

By Nadia Saleem (Reuters)

Published: Fri 14 Mar 2014, 10:20 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:50 AM

Surprisingly weak Chinese data and concerns over the Ukrainian crisis took down global equities this week. That triggered a long-awaited correction in UAE markets.

Renewed buying at chart support levels, however, helped the UAE rebound from multi-week lows. Dubai’s bourse rose 1.2 per cent, partly recouping losses from the past two days. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark climbed 2.2 per cent, snapping a five-session loss.

“It’s a technical rebound after the huge sell-off but I think it will be short-lived,” said Ali Adou, portfolio manager at Abu Dhabi-based The National Investor, that manages $95 million worth of assets in the region. “The correction was long overdue; low-quality names were outperforming bluechips.”

The next market catalyst will come in the form of first-quarter earnings, he said. “The UAE has strong economic fundamentals but the question is how much of that will trickle down to earnings,” Adou added.

Dubai is trading at price-to-earnings ratio of 18.3 times, against Saudi Arabia’s 16.1, while MSCI’s emerging market index has a forward PE of 9.86 times.

Small-cap shares led the recovery on Thursday as retail traders jumped back, a sign that long-term investors are looking elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia’s measure gained 0.4 per cent and Cairo’s benchmark index rose 0.5 per cent.

Kuwait’s share index plunged to a six-month low as investors sold off small-cap stocks, in a move that could have been triggered by the regulator’s crackdown on what it saw as speculation.

Kuwait’s Capital Markets Authority said this week it had suspended one of the local brokers from opening and managing new investment portfolios for a period of four months, accusing it of trying to manipulate the market.

According to a trader in Kuwait who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the broker in question had accounted for a significant share of local retail turnover and the move made other retail investors jittery.

The regulator has also suspended trading in shares of several listed companies this month over financial losses.

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