Abu Dhabi and Dubai stocks hit a pause in early trades on Monday after scaling highs in recent days, with investors awaiting a flood of earning announcements before markets close for Eid. And retail investors will be tempted to sell some of their positions to finance their Eid celebrations.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange dropped 0.3 per cent to 6,202 points, heading towards its second decline out of the last seven sessions, with the number of stocks sliding and climbing nearly equal in numbers. But the weakness in more heavyweight shares tipped the index balance down.
Arkan Building and Materials soared 14.5 per cent posting another stellar performance, having surged 15 per cent on Sunday after Senaat revealed a plan to merge Arkan with Emirates Steel. The potential deal helped reverse the stock's fortunes sending it to around 20 per cent up for the year. It marked a rebound from a plunge of the same magnitude as it came under selling pressure from a lackluster full-year and first-quarter performance.
ADNOC Distribution's stock picked up 0.6 per cent after first-quarter profits shot up 58 per cent to Dh631 million compared with Dh400 million a year before. The bottom-line was driven by margin improvements and management of operational expenses during the quarter. ADNOC Distribution is committed to cutting down on operational costs and secure "competitiveness in the UAE fuel retail and convenience store sector".
Blue-chips lose charm
However, the slide in some blue-chips overshadowed the advances elsewhere with First Abu Dhabi Bank slippingand Abu Dhabi National Energy (TAQA) taking a dip as it is trading ex-dividend. Aldar Properties also edged lower as markets await the developer's first-quarter results, expected later in the day.
Dubai Financial Market shed 0.2 per cent to trade at 2,682 points as investors await a host of earnings. Amlak Finance and Gulf Navigation traded down with their boards meeting later in the day to give the go-ahead for result announcements.
Emaar Properties and Emaar Development also stepped back ahead of earnings reports, though they are expected to publish substantially improved bottom-line going by the sector results so far. But Emaar Malls posting lower year-on-year profits in the first quarter appears to have raised some eyebrows.