However, volumes slump to a 12-week low, Abu Dhabi edges higher for a fourth day
Emirates NBD made its largest gain for
a month as Dubai's index snapped a two-day drop, but
volumes slumped to a 12-week low.
The bank rose 1.6 percent, its biggest rise since October 28.
Emaar Properties climbed 0.8 percent, but Aramex
and Arabtec fell 0.9 and 0.5 percent
The index rose 0.5 percent to 1,682 points as 52 million
shares trade, the lowest volume since September 2.
"There's no local catalyst -- today's gains are just a
follow through from what happened on US markets and there's no
major conviction, so we easily can turn downwards again," said
Haissam Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena
"It's just the usual suspects in our markets, with no fresh
money coming in."
Abu Dhabi's index edged higher for a fourth day,
rising 0.04 percent to 2,757 points.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi rose 1.2 percent and
First Gulf Bank added 1.4 percent, but Abu Dhabi
Commercial Bank dropped 1.7 percent.
US stocks rebounded on Wednesday on stronger-than-expected
US jobs and consumer sentiment data.
Kuwait's index ended lower for a third day in four, with little trade in bluechip names due to a lack of newsflow, spurring retail investors to speculate in small-cap stocks.
Kuwait's two largest listed banks declined. National Bank of Kuwait fell 1.5 percent and Kuwait Finance House dropped 1.7 percent.
Zain ended flat. Abu Dhabi's Etisalat has agreed to buy a controlling stake in its Kuwait rival.
"The market is moving sideways as investors wait for the Zain transaction to be completed," said Shahid Hameed, Global Investment House head of asset management for the Gulf region.
"November is usually a quiet month regionally in terms of news flow, with Q3 results out of the way, but towards the end of December things pick up as we start to hear market chatter about likely Q4 earnings".
The index fell 0.1 percent to 6,928 points. The five most active stocks have a combined market capitalisation of $698 million, which is less than one-thirtieth of the value of market leader Zain.
Industries Qatar snapped two days of declines to help Doha's index advance for a 12th session in 13, with investors buying ahead of a FIFA vote to decide the host country for the 2022 soccer World Cup.
Industries Qatar rose 1.1 percent, Qatar Telecom added 1 percent and Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) climbed 3 percent to a six-month high.
"Qatar has done exceptionally well and the market might be getting ahead of itself, with people buying ahead of the World Cup vote -- if Qatar doesn't win then it will cause some negative sentiment and retailers are likely to sell off stocks," said Shahid Hameed, Global Investment House head of asset management for the Gulf region.
"Qatar's recent rally is not just about the World Cup, but the overall economy and if there's a correction it won't change what is a good story going forward."
Qatar is bidding against the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea for the rights to host the 2022 World Cup, with FIFA delegates voting on Dec. 2.
The index rose 0.5 percent to 8,186 points.
Banks slid as Kuwait's index fell for a third day in four, with investors cautious as they await the completion of a stake sale in Zain to Abu Dhabi's Etisalat.
Zain was unchanged, but National Bank of Kuwait fell 1.5 percent and Kuwait Finance House dropped 1.7 percent.
"In the absence of catalysts Kuwait should remain sideways - if Zain's deal will go through, the feel-good factor should push up the market, but the deal is already pretty much priced into Zain's shares," said Shahid Hameed, Global Investment House head of asset management for the Gulf region.
"People are expecting it to be a matter of weeks, not months for the Zain sale to be completed, although investors understand that a multi billion dollar deal takes time.
"If there's a delay, the market will become jittery and there will be speculation and volatility until the deal is finalised."
Etisalat has agreed to pay 1.7 dinars a share for a controlling stake in Zain, with the deal valued at $12 billion.
The index fell 0.3 percent to 6,917 points. (Reuters)