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Sun 3 Jan 2010 09:55 AM

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Emaar shares re-conquer AED4 mark as Dubai rises

UPDATE 7: Abu Dhabi index also advances while Oman closes at 10-week high.

Dubai's measure hit a two-week closing high as Emaar Properties surged ahead of the official opening of Burj Dubai on Monday, the world's tallest building.

In a sentiment-driven rally, Emaar surged 7.8 percent to its highest close since Nov 23, while other property-related stocks followed suit.

Arabtec climbed 6.3 percent and Deyaar added 6.9 percent.

The index rose 3.4 percent to 1,866 points, a two-week high.

Abu Dhabi's index also advanced, rising for the fourth session in five as bluechips prosper.

Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) climbed 1.8 percent, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank added 2.6 percent and Sorouh Real Estate jumped 5.8 percent.

The index rose 1.1 percent to 2,772 points.

Saudi Arabia's index edged higher for a second day, but trading was slight as investors awaited fourth-quarter results following a strong performance by equities in 2009.

The Saudi measure was the top performer in the Gulf Arab region in 2009, climbing 27 percent. Oman was second with a 17 percent gain.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) climbed 0.3 percent, offsetting minor declines in Samba Financial Group  and al-Rajhi Bank.

The index climbed 0.1 percent to 6,150 points.

Qatar's index ended higher for the first session in four, although volumes remained slight amid scant investor interest.

Qatar National Bank climbed 2.5 percent and Al Khaliji Bank rose 1.4 percent.

Volumes were the second-lowest of the past three months. The index rose 0.7 percent to 7,007 points, although it remains down 8 percent since early October's 11-month high.

Oman's benchmark ended higher for a seventh session, hitting a 10-week high after a government official forecast the country's gross domestic product would increase by 6.1 percent in 2010.

"A lot of money was on the sidelines, waiting for the right time to enter and today there was a very strong surge in response to the government budget," said Adel Nasr, United Securities brokerage manager.

"This gave confidence to the market and there was demand from retail, high net worth investors and institutions - everyone is coming back in."

These investors focused on the banking, investment and industrial sectors, Nasr said, with more gains forecast for the coming few sessions.

"If things go smoothly, I think the market can gain 18 to 25 percent this year," he added.

Bank Muscat and Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) were the main supports, rising 1.9 and 2.9 percent respectively.

The index climbed 1.6 percent to 6,470 points.

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