Local equities declined yesterday as investors booked profits from the new year rally.
"It's mainly profit-taking," said Marwan Shurrab, the vice president and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments, an asset-manager in Dubai. "The markets have already made decent gains since the start of the year."
The Dubai Financial Market General Index slipped 0.1 per cent, closing at 1,691.82 points. The benchmark has risen 4.2 per cent since January 1.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was little changed, down 0.1 per cent, 2,705.67. The gauge has gained 2.8 per cent this year.
"What is interesting is that turnover is coming back, which means interest is coming back," said Mr Shurrab.
"If the fourth-quarter results and dividends support the expectations of the market, we could see a very strong move across the board."
Traded value reached Dh301.9 million in Dubai, compared with an average of Dh100m to Dh120m at the end of last year.
Investors traded Dh121m worth of shares in Abu Dhabi, compared with an average of Dh50m to Dh60m at the end of last year.
Property stocks led the declines in Dubai, while energy and financial stocks weighed on the Abu Dhabi index.
Emaar Properties, which holds the largest weighting on Dubai's equity index, lost 0.2 per cent to Dh4 on the Dubai bourse.
Shares of Abu Dhabi National Energy fell 0.7 per cent to close at Dh1.36 each.
First Gulf Bank fell 0.4 per cent to Dh11.85 each.