The outlook on UAE indices is still positive even as the benchmark has lagged in terms of performance compared to their peers in emerging markets.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index has shed more than 3.5 per cent so far in the year, after losing 6 per cent in 2017. The MSCI emerging market index has gained more than 4 per cent so far in the year after gaining 28 per cent in 2017.

“The outlook is positive for our markets. We will see more volatility, but the overall environment for equities remains strong given the increased global growth expectations, and strong earnings backdrop,” Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at First Abu Dhabi Bank asset management group said.

The valuations are attractive compared to peers.

“Valuations are very attractive relative to not only compared with its own history but compared to global markets. We are near the bottom end of 5-year price to book, and price to earnings,” Khokhar said.

The UAE stocks were valued 9-10 times on price to earnings, compared to Gulf’s valuation of 12 times. Emerging markets stocks were valued 19-20 times price to earnings.

Other stocks:

In stock specific actions, Gulf Finance House closed 2.82 per cent lower at Dh1.38, while Ithmaar closed 0.67 per cent higher at Dh0.451.

DP World closed flat at $24.45. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed 0.03 per cent higher at 4,597.66. Abu Dhabi Ship Building closed 9.78 per cent lower at Dh2.03. Union National Bank closed 3 per cent lower at Dh3.86.

In other markets, the Qatar exchange index closed 1.85 per cent lower at 8,764.67. The Muscat MSM 30 index closed 0.20 per cent higher at 5,003.37.