Stock Dubai Financial Market TRADERS DFM
There's been a subtle change in mood at UAE and Gulf stock exchanges this week. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

UAE and other GCC stocks soared, driven by a combination of factors from fairly good-looking first-quarter numbers and Qatar's foreign ownership limit removal to oil demand outlook and lower consumer inflation in Saudi Arabia.

Dubai Financial Market scaled 2.5 per cent higher at 2,633 points, making for the second-sharpest single-day rise this year as Emaar Properties soared 6 per cent for its best performance year-to-date. The index was further boosted as the rally expanded to the rest of the property shares, with Emaar Development up 5 per cent, while Damac Properties and Deyaar Development raced beyond 3 per cent.

Earnings extend rally

Dubai's real estate sector saw an upside in most of the recent sessions, buoyed by more than a two-fold uptick in Emaar sales numbers and which could indicate how property firms have fared in the first-quarter. The argument was further backed up by Deyaar Development, whose profit figures came in at more than five times last year. Its topline expanded by 51 per cent as demand picked up in the first three months.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index bounced back from recent losses by climbing 1.4 per cent to 9,988 points with banking stocks leading advances. Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi National Bank moved higher by 2.6- and 3.6 per cent, respectively. Petrochemical makers also did not lag behind as Saudi Basic Industries, Saudi Kayan Petrochemical and Sahara International Petrochemical moved higher.

Oil trading close to a one-month high and consumer inflation taking a dip in the kingdom provided guidance to investors.

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange marched 1.5 per cent up to 6,132 points, pushed higher by banking stocks. First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank advanced with Aldar Properties trading past 1 per cent and obviously getting its clues from Dubai property shares.

Air Arabia is getting there
In Dubai, all the main sectors, except for industrials, were up, reflecting the global risk-on sentiment, said Kaia Parv of FXPrimus.

"Airlines were leading the gains as the expectations for the leisure travel are picking up globally. Air Arabia’s jumped 5.60% to Dh1.32, but the price has not recovered to the pre-pandemic levels of Dh1.57. However, investors have been hopeful that with a successful vaccination programme rollout in the UAE, Air Arabia will be able to capitalize on the leisure travel in the Middle East."

“Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index was up 0.78% to 9,924.79 points. Banks gained a whooping 1.64%, reflecting the sentiment seen on US stock exchanges yesterday. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan reported a massive jump in Q1-21 profits, bolstering financials sector and boosting global investors’ confidence about strong rebound in corporate America.”

- Kaia Parv, Head of Investment Research at FXPrimus

Gaining most in a year

Qatar Exchange surged most in a year, climbing 2.8 per cent to 10,899 points. The cabinet approved a draft law designed to allow foreigners to fully own publicly trading companies. The banking sector was the biggest gainer with Qatar Commercial Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank leading.

Financials also led the way in Kuwait and Bahrain where the markets slightly moved upward, though there were also stocks heading lower with investors trading selectively as they lacked direction without any major earnings announced yet.

Results trigger

Oman's 30-company index edged back 0.2 per cent with result-announcing companies moving sideways. Al Anwar Investments, Al Batinah Power, Sembcorp Salalah dropped as their bottom-line dipped in the first three months. On the other hand, Galfar Engineering and Contracting jumped 8.7 per cent after swinging into first-quarter profits from being a loss-maker a year earlier. Bank Nizwa climbed 1.1 per cent as its quarterly net income rose to OR3 million from OR2.8 million last year.