Dubai Financial Market. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The rally seen in Dubai stocks came to a halt as traders adopted a wait-and-watch strategy instead of entering at higher levels.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) general index closed 0.30 per cent lower at 2,675.80. The index has been moving positive and negative territories in the past two sessions, after gaining 7.5 per cent from February 13 till February 23. The rally was mostly driven by buying in bellwether Emaar Properties and units.

“Traction in Dubai real estate names started after decent fourth quarter results coupled with strong dividend announcement,” Nishit Lakhotia, Head of Research at SICO Bank said.

Emaar Properties, which has a weightage of 20 per cent on the index, closed 0.20 per cent higher at Dh4.93. Emaar Properties has gained 4 per cent since the start of February. Emaar Malls closed 1.09 per cent lower at Dh1.82. Emaar Development closed more than 3 per cent lower at Dh4.09.

“This (rally in real estate stocks) possibly is leading fund managers and other investors alike to reallocate position towards the beaten down high yielding names in Dubai and book their gains in Saudi Arabia (especially banks), which rallied significantly since December up until mid — February,” Lakhotia said.

Image Credit: Gulf News

The banking index has gained 11 per cent in the year so far, in Saudi Arabia. The banking index was 0.04 per cent lower at 8,067.77. “Looking ahead, this may likely continue until the stocks go ex-dividend when we may again see some traction back in Saudi banks ahead of MSCI inclusion date in May,” Lakhotia said.

In other stocks in Dubai, Emirates NBD closed 0.80 per cent lower at Dh9.92. Gulf Finance House closed 0.83 per cent lower at Dh0.961. Dubai Islamic Bank closed 0.19 per cent higher at Dh5.27.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed 0.24 per cent higher at 5,152.02, after hitting a high of 5,152.96, a level last seen in early February. Dana Gas closed 3.36 per cent higher at Dh0.89. “Dana Gas is poised to register bullish breakout over the sideways resistance and target Dh0.96 in the short term,” Shiv Prakash, senior analyst with First Abu Dhabi Bank Securities said. First Abu Dhabi Bank closed 0.66 per cent higher at Dh15.20. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul was 0.19 per cent higher at 8,472.50.