UAE investors turn jittery, engage in some profit booking despite upbeat Q1-2021 results

Stock Dubai Financial Market TRADERS DFM
Investors take a breather after hectic trades in recent days, especially those involving banking stocks. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai and Abu Dhabi stocks took a breather from three days of advances on Tuesday morning, with investors keen on profit-booking amid uncertain market conditions. Qatar Exchange gained on the back of strong first-quarter results from leading lights.

Dubai Financial Market traded 0.2 per cent lower at 2,640 points despite du advancing 0.8 per cent after first-quarter 2021 profits jumped around 39 per cent from the final quarter of 2020, implying the telco has left the worst behind. But gains were limited as the performance fell short of pre-pandamic levels, with profits and revenues dropping compared to the same quarter last year when COVID-19 had just begun to impact.

The index also received some impetus from Gulf Navigation and Emaar Properties. But the advances were overwhelmed by a 1.2 per cent drop in Emirates NBD, which pulled back after three consecutive days of gains. The bank has been on the upside lately after outstanding first-quarter results. But dips keep interrupting the positive run with investors prone to booking profits.

Ex-dividend in mind

Dubai Islamic Bank dropped ahead of quarterly results planned for later in the day. UAE banks by and large have reported strong earnings for the first three months, but investors look eager to see more before putting in their money. Islamic Arab Insurance plunged 8.4 per cent on ex-dividend date.

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange inched 0.3 per cent lower to 6,128 points, weighed down by the banking stocks. First Abu Dhabi Bank was down after a recent run of gains while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank shed 0.5 per cent, giving up some of over 2 per cent gain it chalked up Monday on the back of a strong first-quarter showing.

Earnings run

Qatar Exchange bucked the downward trend to expand 0.4 per cent to 10,958 points, helped by robust corporate earnings for the first three months. The blue-chip Industries Qatar traded on top after the first-quarter profits jumped to QR1.5 billion from QR300 million a year earlier.

Baladna, Mesaieed Petrochemical and Qatar Insurance traded higher with markets betting the firms will report strong quarterly earnings. Qatar Islamic Bank received partial gains after the board removed ownership limits for foreign investors.