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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 05/08/2009

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Profit-taking eroded Dubai's early gains on Tuesday, but Abu Dhabi rose for a second day this week as property stocks continued to trek higher.

The Dubai Financial Market benchmark index ended 0.4 per cent lower at 1,879.39 after rising by as much as 1.8 per cent or 1,920.01 in early trade. Emirates NBD, the country's biggest bank by assets, helped stemmed losses in Dubai as it outperformed the market, surging by 4.7 per cent to Dh3.55.

The main index of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange inched up by 0.9 per cent to 2,863.28.

"Selling pressure was orderly and devoid of panic, and doesn't change the positive sentiment that has been steadily building. The large proportion of short-term traders in the market means that this two steps forward, one step back pattern is nothing new and will be with us for a while," said Matthew Wakeman, MD of cash-and-equity-linked trading at EFG-Hermes. With most of the second quarter earnings results already out, investors opted to take cash and are likely to sit on the fence and see if current market levels are sustained before taking more aggressive positions, said Vyas Jayabhanu, head of investments at Al Dhafra Financial Brokerage. "Most results showed earnings easing from the first quarter, it brought home the point that the economic slowdown is continuing." Emaar Properties added 0.3 per cent at Dh2.95. Union Properties fell by 4.5 per cent at Dh1.07 ahead of its results.

Dubai-based Gulf Navigation Holdings, lost 5 per cent at Dh0.76, after its net profit in the first half dropped 89 per cent as demand for shipping declined. Shuaa Capital, the UAE's largest investment bank, also gave back early gains to end 4.8 per cent lower at Dh1.60. "Short-term traders are being cautious again with most of the earnings results behind us.

They are now again focusing on fundamentals and the sentiment is that there may be some more negative surprises. We can expect the markets to be volatile as a result," said Bobby Sarkar, equity research analyst at Al Mal Capital. Abu Dhabi's index were pushed up by company-specific news, and by property stocks. Aldar Properties climbed by 2.9 per cent to Dh4.16, while second-ranked Sorouh Real Estate rose by 1.9 per cent to Dh3. The smaller RAK Properties, surged by 5.5 per cent to Dh0.76. Taqa rose by 1.2 per cent to Dh1.70.

Taqa Bratani Ltd. has replaced Shell UK exploration and Production as the operator of the North Sea Brent system pipeline and facilities.

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