Stock News: Gulf Markets Edge Up In Early Trade; Real Estate Strong

Dubai’s main index was up 2.2 per cent at 3,802 points with property stocks dominating trade.

Most Gulf stock markets edged up in early trade on Wednesday in line with a rise in Asian markets following strong U.S. gross domestic product data. But trading volumes were moderate with a growing number of investors away on year-end holidays.

Dubai’s main index was up 2.2 per cent at 3,802 points; it faces immediate chart resistance at 3,888 points, where it peaked in the past two days.

Property stocks again dominated trading, with Deyaar surging 6.9 per cent as the most heavily traded stock and Emaar Properties up 2.7 per cent.

The Abu Dhabi market edged up 0.8 per cent, also led by property stocks; Eshraq Properties, the most heavily traded company, gained 5.3 per cent.

Qatar climbed 0.8 per cent with Barwa Real Estate, the most heavily traded stock, up 3.1 per cent.

But Islamic Holding, an investment company, again plunged its daily 10 per cent limit to SAR98.10 riyals; it has tumbled from SAR222.70 on Dec. 11 as a bubble in the stock price has apparently burst.

The stock is still up 113 per cent year-to-date and its trailing price/earnings ratio is about 30 times, according to Thomson Reuters data, compared to under 20 for comparable stocks in the investment banking and brokerage space.