(MENAFN - Arab News) The Dubai Financial Market's General Index rose to the highest in more than five years as real estate stocks extended the gains in robust trading activity. The benchmark measure advanced 0.91 per cent to 3,186.55 points, the highest since October 2008.
Trading volumes rose to 886.34 million from 639.86 million shares traded on Thursday. Emaar Properties, up 0.27 per cent with 173.3 million shares, and Arabtec Holding Company, climbed 3.28 per cent 454.26 million shares, led the positive sentiment on the exchange.
Abu Dhabi market also rose 1.24 per cent to the highest since September 2008. Eshraq Properties climbed 1.4 per cent to Dh1.42, the highest since its listing in 2011.
"Markets are quite strong despite nervousness in global markets. Some catch up from Arabtec after lagging over the previous month," Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi's Asset Management Group, told Khaleej Times.
The investors are picking up shares in property and construction companies amid hopes of securing good returns in the wake of strong recovery in real estate sector this year.
According to fund managers and analysts the real estate and construction firms will continue to generate 'reasonable demand' in coming days that will keep the market in positive territory next year.
"Sectors in focus were real estate, construction, banks and telecom and they dominate most of the trade today," Khokhar said.
In reply to a question, he said trading activity is likely to slow in coming days as "we near close of the year and market participants may take a break for the vacation period".
In regional markets, Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share Index rose 26.84 points and close the day at 8,403.98 points. Qatar's QE Index advanced 0.4 per cent to 10,526.95 points and Amman rose 60.6 points to 4,326 points. Kuwait's market lost 0.8 per cent, Muscat fell 0.2 per cent and Bahrain's index declined to 1,207.49 points.