Mixed day for UAE stocks as Yemen weighs on sentiment

UAE stocks ended the day mixed amid lacklustre trade in most other regional bourses as investors kept an eye on developments on fighting in Yemen.

Dubai’s main benchmark fell 0.3 per cent, dragged down by Union Properties and Arabtec, while Abu Dhabi’s key equity index rose 0.1 per cent.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index rose 0.4 per cent. Egypt’s main equities benchmark dropped 0.2 per cent.

“The Yemen situation has affected sentiment of retail investors in Saudi Arabia,” said Sachin Mohindra, a portfolio manager at the Abu Dhabi-based asset manager Invest AD.

“Here in the UAE it’s more of a lack of any trigger situation, with most first-quarter results out of the way, people have digested them and now as we head into summer, from now till then there appears to be no immediate trigger, basically lacklustre.”

On the Dubai bourse, the average value of daily trading in the first three months dropped 66 per cent to Dh606.4 million from Dh1.7 billion in the same period last year, when stocks rallied during a bull market on the back of the UAE’s upgrade to the MSCI index of emerging markets.

Mr Mohindra said that despite the waning interest in trading, valuations of equities in the UAE remain attractive after the massive sell-off in the fourth quarter last year.


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Mahmoud Kassem

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