Real estate developers Aldar and Sorouh remained in focus on Tuesday as the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) extended gains into a fourth consecutive session.
The bourse rose 0.31 per cent to 2,623.02 with Aldar jumping 1.49 per cent to Dh1.44 and Sorouh adding 2.24 per cent to Dh1.46 after both companies said they had started talks on a possible merger.
Other names in the real estate sector, however, saw some profit-taking as Eshraq Properties lost 7.32 per cent to Dh0.40 and Ras Al Khaimah Properties dropped 4.44 per cent to Dh0.43. Dana Gas also dragged, tumbling two per cent to Dh0.50.
"If you look at the whole picture, turnover is high on the Saudi market, which is the bellwether of the region, oil prices are rising and geo-political concerns are not a big deal at the moment," said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. "Investors are not really factoring those issues into the equation." Telco etisalat, the company with the largest weighting on the index, closed flat amid reports it plans to sell its stake in Indonesian operator PT XL Axiata. Of the 30 companies traded, nine rose, 15 fell and six closed unchanged. Some 214.6 million shares worth Dh283.3 million were traded.
Elsewhere in the region, Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share Index slipped 0.24 per cent, Qatar's measure was little changed, Bahrain's bourse rose 0.22 per cent, Kuwait's gauge closed flat and Muscat's exchange gained 0.9 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index recouped most of the previous session's losses yesterday amid a late surge of buying pressure in property stocks.
The bourse gained 0.88 per cent to 1,682.01 with bellwether Emaar Properties adding 2.01 per cent to Dh3.05, Deyaar jumping 3.75 per cent to Dh0.415 and Union Properties climbing 4.44 per cent to Dh0.47.
"Penny stocks have seen a lot of upward movement lately but I would not be surprised if we see a shift in focus to the blue chips as foreign investors come in for the second wave of this rally," said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi.
"A lot of investors were waiting for a major correction, which did not happen. Investors are in ‘buy mood' and looking to put their money into stocks that have not rallied so much in the last few weeks. We are still seeing large volumes and there has also been a lot of chat about possible mergers and acquisitions; these things are positive for the market," he added.
Investment bank Shuaa dragged, tumbling 3.16 per cent to Dh0.949 while logistics firm Aramex lost 1.04 per cent to Dh1.90. Emirates NBD, the UAE's largest lender by assets, slipped 0.31 per cent to Dh3.19 following reports it plans to cut as much as 15 per cent of its workforce.
Of the 29 companies traded, 18 rose, 10 fell and one closed unchanged. Some 241.6 million shares worth Dh269.2 million were traded.