The Abu Dhabi index saw a limited downside on Thursday as outperformance compared to the Dubai index continued on the back of strong earning expectations in banks and telecom stocks.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed 0.1 per cent lower to 4,687.01, while the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index witnessed sharper losses, and closed 0.28 per cent lower to 2,884.22.

“The short-term technical picture is positive as long as the ADX index trades above the neckline and the channel support zone at 4,490, overall headed towards the 4,720,” Shiv Prakash, senior analyst with First Abu Dhabi Bank Securities said in a note.

Etisalat and First Abu Dhabi Bank has been top performers on the Abu Dhabi exchange. On Thursday, Etisalat and FAB both closed steady at Dh17.2 and Dh12.55 respectively.

“Investors continue to enter into new trades with the belief that real estate will produce positive earnings in the upcoming financials, despite the lack of material information on projects or developments and the recent decline in rental rates,” Issam Kassabieh an analyst with Menacorp said in a note.

The Abu Dhabi index has gained 6.56 per cent so far in the year compared to a 14 per cent fall in the Dubai index, which has been on a back foot because of lack of catalysts.

“A break below the 14 day moving average at 2,863 may ignite profit taking in Dubai index and push us lower to retest the 2,800 support level,” Prakash said.

In stock specific movement, Emaar Properties closed above the Dh5 mark, closing 0.80 per cent higher to Dh5.02. Dar al Takaful Air Arabia closed 1.94 per cent higher to Dh1.05. Dar Al Takaful closed nearly 15 per cent higher to Dh0.77.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index closed 0.31 per cent lower to 8,362.41. The Muscat MSM 30 index closed 0.33 per cent lower to 4,440.80.