UAE stock markets hit fresh multi-year highs

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UAE markets reach fresh multi-year highs as trading volumes increase, but valuations now appear stretched and a correction could be imminent.

Dubai's index climbed 1.1 percent to 2,076 points, its highest close since November 2009 as volumes hit a two-week high. It is up 27.9 percent this year.

The benchmark now has a relative strength index (RSI) reading of 76.7, with 70 and above considered an overbought signal.

"UAE markets look slightly overheated - they're running ahead of company fundamentals, so a correction is warranted," said Sankar Kailasam, Gulf Baader Capital Markets head of asset management in Muscat.

"If fundamentals do catch up, then more long-term money will come into the market."

After a slow start to Thursday trade, momentum picked up and Emirates NBD was the main support with a 2.2 percent gain. The bank's shares were up 78.9 percent this year and it reported an estimate-beating 31 percent increase in first-quarter profit before the market open.

Six stocks gained more than 3 percent, including Dubai Financial Market and Drake & Scull, which rose 3.5 and 3.6 percent respectively.

Abu Dhabi's measure climbed 1 percent to 3,288 points, its highest close since November 2008 to take year-to-date gains to 25 percent. Its RSI is now at 82.9.

In Qatar, the index fell 0.7 percent to 8,593 points to be up 2.8 percent this year. It is the second-worst performing Gulf benchmark after Bahrain, with regional investors more interested in other markets.

Doha's index has traded 24.6 million shares this week - Dubai's Drake & Scull saw 72.4 million shares change hands on Thursday alone.

"The pace of Qatar government spending is not matching investor expectations and there has been some frustration building up." said Sankar Kailasam, Gulf Baader Capital Markets head of asset management in Muscat

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