Dubai: UAE benchmarks started the week on a positive note, rallying as some nations in the region eased restrictions from lockdowns that sought to limit damage from a growing pandemic.
Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index gained 3.47 per cent to 1,956 points, while Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) rose 1.9 per cent to 4,181 points.
“Going forward, progress on the fight against COVID-19 will continue to drive sentiments, especially as some of the countries are expected to ease restrictions gradually in the coming weeks,” said Iyad Abu Hweij, managing director at Dubai-based Allied Investment Partners.
“For the region, the movement in oil prices does not seem to have a significant impact on trading activity, but investors will keep a close watch in the coming weeks to assess the effect on domestic economies.”
Alongside property stocks propping up the DFM index, notable gains were recorded by Air Arabia, which rose 5.6 per cent. The budget carrier and Etihad Airways’ new Abu Dhabi joint venture carrier said it would finalize its launch plans “as market conditions improve” after securing certification to fly.
The gains on the Abu Dhabi index was led by a 3.5 per cent surge in top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Dubai on Thursday allowed cafes and restaurants to resume business, and shopping malls to be opened partially, while also resuming public transportation services including subways.
Other major stock markets in the Gulf too rose on Sunday, led mostly by gains in banking shares, as investors saw the start of the holy month of Ramadan with easing in stringent measures taken against the spread of coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index advanced 2.4 per cent, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 2.3 per cent and oil giant Saudi Aramco up 1.3 per cent.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman issued an order to limit virus-related curfew across the kingdom, which allowed the opening of some economic and commercial activities, which includes wholesale and retail shops in addition to malls.