Dubai: UAE bourses witnessed a quiet day on Thursday, amid an absence of new leads.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed 0.32 per cent lower at 3,531.05.

“Typically investors try to avoid the end of the week, and are reluctant to take positions on Thursday, especially if there is important market news such as economic data or Federal Reserve/European Central Bank meeting,” said Tariq Qaqish, head of asset management at Menacorp.

In other stocks, Gulf Finance House fell more than one per cent to Dh1.47. Dubai Islamic Bank closed at Dh6.55, down 0.76 per cent.

Drake and Scull closed at Dh2.17, down 0.91 per cent. Deyaar Properties closed 1.40 per cent lower at Dh0.562.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed 0.21 per cent lower at 4,625.39. Agthia closed 2.44 per cent higher at Dh4.61.

Aldar Properties closed less than half-a-per-cent higher at Dh2.32.


Weak trading volumes:

Trading volumes are yet to recover from a high of more than a billion witnessed in January last year. This can be attributed to an overhang of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East region, market watchers said.

On Thursday traded value was at Dh562 million, compared to Dh1.2 billion on January 18 last year.

“From a macro point of view, most for the important indicators are showing signs of growth and encouraging, however investor confidence is weak due to uncertainty in the geo-politics, which is reflected in weak trading volumes,” Qaqish said.

Going ahead, analysts will look at more fourth quarter results after strong banking numbers.

“We expect to see strong results from UAE blue chip companies, DIB and Emirates NBD fourth quarter results were solid above analysts expectations. We do believe dividend yield will be the cataylts for the next few weeks as considered very attractive,” said Qaqish.

Dubai Islamic Bank is expected, along with other companies like Etisalat and Du, to give strong dividends.

Emaar will distribute 0.38 fils as special dividend during the month of January, which is 5.2 per cent at this level in addition to remaining exceptional yearly dividends in April which will attract more flow to the name, Qaqish said.

Elsewhere in the Gulf on Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index closed flat above the 7,500 mark. The Tadawul index closed 0.01 per cent lower or almost flat at 7,539.02. The Qatar exchange index closed 0.45 per cent higher at 9,200.10.

The Muscat MSM 30 index closed 0.15 per cent lower at 5,024.06.