A view of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM)
A view of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM). DFM General Index climbed 2.5% in the morning. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: UAE indices started the week on a bright note, rising amid hopes of an easing COVID-19 pandemic, gradual reopening of shut economies and reports of an antiviral proving effective.

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index rose 2.9 per cent at 1,914 points, while Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) rose 2.8 per cent to 4,083 points.

The index in Dubai rallied 1.6 per cent last week, while the Abu Dhabi benchmark dropped 3.5 per cent. However, in the year so far, DFM is still down 32.7 per cent and the ADX is down 22 per cent.

The move higher comes as its peer stock markets in the US, and elsewhere in the world, rally as investors take in encouraging signs of a seemingly successful battle against COVID-19, a pandemic that has caused over 160,000 deaths so far.

“The stock market rally could be here to stay as Wall Street becomes cautiously optimistic a treatment for the coronavirus is nearing,” wrote Ed Moya, a market analyst with OANDA.

With growing evidence of the pandemic peaking in certain global virus hotspots, a vaccine – or at least an effective therapy – has now become the top focus for the market to have a shot at clawing back more of the historic decline and one day reclaim a new high.

An antiviral drug, Remdesivir, made by US biopharmaceutical giant Gilead Science, has reportedly showed promising results against the virus. Patients are widely showing “rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms”, the company revealed over the weekend.

“Optimism is high that Remdesivir could become the first approved treatment against COVID-19,” Moya added.

After global stock markets nose-dived earlier this year on the alarming spread of a pandemic worldwide, they have been rebounding since late March, as investors have routinely looked past evidence of the damage caused by stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns, and instead focused on hopes for an eventual recovery.