Stocks News Mideast- Dubai hits 24-week high on earnings hopes; Qatar extends its gains

The Dubai measure rallied to a 24-week closing high and the exchange’s own shares also gained, buoyed by bullish sentiment ahead of quarterly results.

The emirate’s index rose 0.6% to 1,646 points, its highest close since April 26.

Shares on Dubai Financial Market, the only listed exchange in the Gulf, rose 0.9%.

Trading volumes in the third quarter reached 5.7 billion shares from 3.5 billion a year earlier, an indicator of the stock market’s earnings growth.

Three analysts polled by Reuters predict an average profit of 6 million dirhams for DFM, against a loss of 9.3 million dirhams in the same period last year.

Real estate and related stocks rose with Emaar Properties up 0.5%, mortgage lender Tamweel up 2.2% and engineering firm Drake & Scull up 0.1%.

“The UAE indices had a good run, driven by an improving economic backdrop and a pick-up in selective demand for real estate, as evidenced by recent Emaar project sales and announcements,” says Sleiman Aboulhosn, assistant fund manager at Al Masah Capital.

“This improved backdrop adds to sentiment, but we still have uncertainties like the Aldar-Sorouh merger. Overall, we think the current rally still has upside.”

Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate, Abu Dhabi’s two main developers, are in advanced talks and a merger could take place within a month.

The Abu Dhabi measure rose 0.1% to close at 2,647 points, extending year-to-date gains to 10%.

Elsewhere, the Qatar index closed up 0.4% at 8,558 points, its highest close since September 24.

Qatar Electricity and Water and Industries Qatar are the main supporters, up 1.1 and 1.9% respectively.

IQ reported a 23.7% jump in third-quarter net profit on Sunday, beating analysts’ average forecast. (Reuters)