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Sun 18 Mar 2012 10:00 AM

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Global gains to support Gulf stocks

A broad measure of US equities rallied to an almost four-year high on Friday after news of subdued inflation

Global gains to support Gulf stocks
A broad measure of US equities rallied to an almost four-year high on Friday.

Gains on global markets are likely boost Gulf Arab sentiment on Sunday, while high oil prices will support demand for regional petrochemical stocks.

A broad measure of US equities rallied to an almost four-year high on Friday after news of subdued inflation added to investment sentiment and other world markets also rose.

Oil prices added more than 2 percent on Friday on support from continuing tensions over Iran's disputed nuclear program and the potential for supply disruptions in the region.

Foreign participation is will be lower in local markets, with Western institutions away for their weekend.

In the UAE, some analysts expect Thursday's profit-taking to continue, but bluechips still look attractive.

Dubai's index has gained 24.4 percent this year, while Abu Dhabi's benchmark is up 9.3 percent.

"After such a strong rally, investors will not evaporate overnight," says Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor.

"During the last leg of the rally, locals focused investment in small-to-mid caps.

"I shouldn't be surprised to see a new round of interest in bluechips. Some underperformed the market and have good potential."

Abu Dhabi's property stocks will be in focus after HSBC raised Sorouh Real Estate price target to AED1.1 from AED0.9 with an 'underweight' rating and lifted Aldar Properties price target to AED1.05 from AED0.95, with the same rating.

UAE banks may face some selling pressure after the central bank directed lenders to help reduce the debt burden of UAE nationals, with some bankers saying banks may have to write off certain personal loans.

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