Abu Dhabi stock market Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Dubai: Banking stocks were in demand in Abu Dhabi on Thursday due to expectations of benefits from synergy following the merger between Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Union National Bank (UNB).

ADCB hit its highest level in the year at Dh9.79, marking a gain of 0.93 per cent. ADCB was the most active stock in trade, contributing to 15 per cent of the total traded value, that stood at Dh258 million. Thursday’s traded value was six times the daily average of Dh38 million.

UNB closed 0.93 per cent higher at Dh5.45, after hitting a high of Dh5.49, its highest level in the past 52 weeks.

“The trend shall continue to remain up in ADCB and might hit a new level of Dh10.80/13 in the medium term. UNB’s support at Dh5.15 acted strong, and ignited recovery, meeting our first target of Dh5.40. The stock may target Dh5.60 in near term,” Shiv Prakash, senior analyst with First Abu Dhabi Bank Securities, said.

The Abu Dhabi index closed 0.74 per cent higher at 5,098.11. First Abu Dhabi Bank and Etisalat recovered. FAB closed 1.08 per cent higher at Dh14.96. Etisalat closed 0.47 per cent higher at Dh17. Al Dar Properties closed 1.13 per cent higher at Dh1.79.

In Dubai, Emaar Properties rose, extending gains to its highest level this year. Emaar Properties closed 1.30 per cent higher at Dh4.66. Emirates NBD, DIB, Damac pulled the Dubai index down, while Emaar Properties continued to help.

The Dubai Financial Market general index closed 0.06 per cent higher at 2,633.69, after rising 2.6 per cent in the previous session.

“Yesterday’s rally could be possibly a mix of short covering and fund managers positioning themselves into beaten down names. We have been suggesting our clients to selectively position into high yielding names since last month,” Nishit Lakhotia, Head of Research at SICO BSC said.

Traders have been positioning in the beaten down stocks amid positive upgrades from international analysts.

“We expected dividend announcements to be the trigger for these names, which is how this seems to be playing out. Going forward, while some may book profit in the stocks that have rallied 10-15 per cent in past week, we still expect the market to generally trend upwards,” Lakhotia said.

Emaar Malls closed 1.16 per cent at Dh1.75. Union Porperties closed at Dh0.380, up 3 per cent. Gulf Finance House (GFH) closed 2.74 per cent higher at Dh0.975. “GFH’s next target will be Dh1.03 in the near term,” Prakash said in a note. FABS had a technical buy on GFH at Dh0.928 on Feb 13. Traded value in Dubai, which came in at Dh284 million, remained at elevated levels, suggesting continued interest in shares.