Real estate stocks helped the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange gain 0.53 per cent to 2,621.30. Aldar, one of the heaviest weightings on the bourse, rose 2.17 per cent to Dh1.4 and Sorouh climbed 2.31 per cent to Dh1.31. The two companies accounted for just over a quarter of the transactions during the session.
The majority of activity, however, was centred on Bank of Sharjah, the most traded stock by value and volume, which dropped 2.42 per cent to Dh1.67. Other banking stocks fared better with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Waha Capital among the top gainers.
"We saw a bit of buying interest in ADCB," said Anastasios Dalgiannakis, Institutional Trading Manager at Mubasher Financial Services. "However, the bourse will continue to take its cue from European markets until we hear if the UAE has achieved an MSCI upgrade to emerging market status.
"The implementation of the new delivery versus payment settlement system (DvP) is a positive development. The brokerages have been aware of the situation for some time so they should be ready for DvP," he added.
Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company led gains, jumping 9.89 per cent to Dh7.22. Of the 23 companies traded, 13 rose, four fell and six closed unchanged.
Elsewhere in the region, Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share Index slipped 0.32 per cent to 6,732.96, Qatar's measure dropped 0.24 per cent, Kuwait's index climbed 0.29 per cent, Bahrain's bourse declined 0.32 per cent and Muscat's exchange edged 0.17 per cent higher
Dubai Financial Market
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index slipped 0.63 per cent yesterday with blue chip companies leading the decline amid fears the UAE might not get an MSCI upgrade.The bourse closed at 1,535.67 with property and construction stocks leading the slump. Real estate developer Emaar fell 1.6 per cent to Dh3.07 and construction firm Arabtec dropped 0.76 per cent to Dh1.30.
Drake and Scull International, Union Properties and utilities company Tabreed were among the top decliners as local investors sold up and reinvested their money in other markets.
"Volumes have dropped significantly with a thin turnover of only Dh109 million yesterday. Investors are short-term trading with little conviction," said Anastasios Dalgiannakis, Institutional Trading Manager at Mubasher Financial Services.
"These low activity levels will continue until we hear the MSCI decision in June when turnover will be impacted one way or another. The half-year reporting season begins soon after so I am hopeful we will see some sort of pick-up before Ramadan," he added.
Air Arabia bucked the trend to climb 0.71 per cent to Dh0.708, Islamic insurance provider Takaful Emarat, the most traded stock by value and volume, rose 6.35 per cent to Dh0.77. Al Firdous Holding Company was the top gainer, climbing 14.29 per cent to Dh0.76 followed by, which rose 11.11 per cent to 10 US cents a share.
Of the 29 companies traded, 11 rose, 14 fell and four closed unchanged. Some 113.9 million shares worth Dh109.1 million were traded.