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DUBAI: Banks helped lift the Abu Dhabi and Dubai bourses yesterday as investors bet on a fundamental improvement in the sector, while most other regional markets also gained.
The UAE capital’s index climbed 0.6 percent, up for a sixth straight session.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank rose 0.4 and 2.2 percent respectively.
Adou said foreign investors usually select top-tier banks such as FGB and then move to other sectors.
Dubai’s benchmark advanced 0.1 percent, having dropped in the last two sessions.
Shares in Emirates NBD rose 2.3 percent, resuming gains as bargain hunters returned. The stock fell on Thursday in post-dividend selling.
Shuaa Capital ended 1.2 percent higher in volatile trading. The stock jumped 7.2 percent initially on reports it planned to pay a cash dividend of 6 fils per share, before giving back most of those gains after Shuaa denied the reports.
In Saudi Arabia, the market climbed 0.4 percent to a four-week high but the index remains trapped in the tight trading range it has inhabited since mid-January.
The heavyweight sectors of banks and petrochemicals were the main support. Saudi Arabian Fertilizers added 1.8 percent and Al Rajhi Bank gained 0.4 percent.
Small-caps dominated trading, signalling investors were looking for quick gains in the absence of other drivers. Property developer Dar Al Arkan and telecom firm Zain Saudi were the two most heavily traded stocks on the exchange, advancing 2.5 and 1.8 percent respectively.
Shares in Saudi Telecom Co (STC) fell 2 percent, extending 2013 losses to 7.6 percent, after the former monopoly’s chief executive, Khaled al-Ghoneim, resigned after less than a year in the job.
Elsewhere, Qatar’s measure slipped 0.1 percent, down from Thursday’s two-week high. Qatar National Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank declined 0.9 and 2.5 percent respectively.
In Egypt, the main benchmark ended near-flat. Non-Arab foreigners continued to be net sellers on the bourse amid a worsening economic outlook.
Meanwhile, Oman’s benchmark rose 0.8 percent, its sixth consecutive gain, as banks supported. Bank Muscat and Bank Dhofar advanced 1.6 and 1.5 percent respectively.
Kuwait’s index resumed its positive trend, gaining 0.2 percent, after declining on Thursday for the first time in 14 sessions.