UAE stocks strengthen as US Fed comments spur global equities rally

UAE stocks ended the week on a high note on Thursday thanks to rising oil prices and strong gains by global equities.

Global stocks rose after the US Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that any US interest rate increases – widely predicted to begin next month – would be gradual in nature.

Brent crude continued its rally, trading up 57 cents per barrel, or 1.2 per cent, on Thursday to $44.71 per barrel.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index racked up its largest one-day gain in nearly three months, closing up 2.91 per cent to 3,273.30. The Abu Dhabi Securities Market General Index rose 1.51 per cent to 4,260.06.

Both indexes ended in positive territory for the week despite sharp sell-offs on Sunday.

“Markets are better everywhere, so there’s positive momentum that local markets have fed off,” said Muhammad Shabbir, the head of equities at Rasmala Investment Bank in Dubai.

“We are in an intermediate period where some people are seeing value in holding name stocks, but overall the environment is still quite sluggish though.”

Arabtec, which plunged 9.32 per cent on Sunday, finished the week in positive territory, gaining 5.26 per cent to finish at Dh1.20, up 1.7 per cent on last week’s close.

Union National Bank led the market rally in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, surging 14.95 per cent – its largest one-day gain – to Dh5.92 a share.

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