DFM surges 3.63% as volumes jump

20/02/2012 07:18 AST  Khaleej Times

Gulf stock markets on Sunday ended higher amid hopes that the Greek bailout crisis could see a final settlement this week.

The Dubai Financial Market’s General Index took a U-turn and made its largest one-day gain in 11 months to reach its highest close since June on upbeat market sentiment due to better then expected quarterly earnings by the blue chip companies.

The main index surged 3.63 per cent, the most since March 13, to 1,571.09 points as investors showed interest in real estate and banking shares.

Trading volumes rose to 397 million from 299.14 million shares traded on Thursday. Out of 30 stocks traded, 26 posted gains while only three declined and one remain unchanged.

Emaar Properties soared 3.9 per cent to Dh2.97, Dubai Financial Market surged seven per cent to 0.90 fils and Air Arabia climbed 6.53 per cent to 0.72 fils. Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank climbed 4.55 per cent and 3.26 per cent, respectively.

“Confidence is returning to the market as fourth-quarter results on the whole have been good and investors have been surprised and pleased by strong increases in dividend payments by UAE companies,” Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s Asset Management Group, told Khaleej Times.

“Second-tier companies have also benefitted from the increased confidence as investors return in force to companies that offer high risk/return profiles. A sustained high oil price has added to the feel-good factor despite increased geo-political tensions,” he said adding that Europe still remains a concern but is taking backstage to local events for the moment.

The Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange’s General Index also advanced 0.59 per cent to close the day at 2,489.07 points. The real estate sector gave support to the main index as volumes improved to 172 million from 50.75 million shares traded on weekend.

Dana Gas climbed 6.8 per cent to 0.48 fils, Sorouh Real Estate rose 5.1 per cent to Dh1.07 and Aldar Properties advanced three per cent to Dh1.06. Together, these stocks accounted for more than half of all shares traded on Sunday.

In regional markets, Kuwait stocks ended 1.7 per cent higher at 6083.40 points, Qatar’s QE index rose 0.9 per cent to 8,623.10 points and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index advanced 0.58 per cent at 6,869.95 points. Oman’s MSM 30 Index and Bahrain’s BB All Share Index gained 0.3 per cent each.

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