UAE stocks make hay as oil shines

UAE stocks extended gains on Wednesday, as emerging market stocks benefited from high oil prices and better-than-expected Chinese import data.

Official data released on Wednesday showed that Chinese imports slipped by just 0.4 per cent last month, the smallest decline since 2014, while exports fell by 4.1 per cent in dollar terms compared with last year.

The FTSE Emerging Market Index rose for the sixth straight day, trading on Wednesday afternoon at levels last reached in late April.

Brent crude futures rose above US$52 per barrel for the first time since October, while West Texas Intermediate rose to a 10-month high on falling US crude stocks and further attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria.

Investors in Dubai defied talk of a Ramadan slowdown by piling back into equities, with trading volumes only marginally lower than the daily average for the year to date.

Dubai’s headline index closed up 0.8 per cent at 3,354.46, buoyed by big-name stocks including Emaar Properties and Dubai Investments.

Shares in Shuaa Capital hit their highest level in two months, closing up by 5.7 per cent at 70 fils, after Dubai Banking Group reached a deal to sell its 48.3 per cent stake in the investment bank to Abu Dhabi Financial Group for an undisclosed sum.

Emirates NBD and Aramex were among just four laggers on the index, closing down by 1.7 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively. Trading volumes also surged in Abu Dhabi, where shares ended up 1.4 per cent at 4,408.32, their highest level in four weeks.

Banking stocks led the charge, with FGB and ADCB surging 2.9 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively.

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