DUBAI: Major stocks in the Gulf region strengthened yesterday, bucking the global trend, as shares in non-oil sectors took centre stage with markets in the UAE primarily driving the gains.
The non-oil sector in the Middle East’s tourism and business hub Dubai returned to growth in December, although the expansion was modest as employment fell and sentiment for the new year was subdued, the seasonally adjusted HIS Markit Dubai Purchasing Managers’ Index survey showed.
Dubai’s main share index tacked on 0.9pc, driven mainly by a 1.8pc gain in the emirate’s biggest bank Emirates NBD. Sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank also advanced, adding 0.8pc.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark firmed 1.2pc, helped by a more than 2pc gain in UAE’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB). Real estate firm Aldar Properties was also among the top performers in the benchmark, gaining 1.9pc.