The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) General Index edged lower yesterday, led by banking stocks.
Equities had rallied last month, boosted by strong corporate earnings results in the fourth quarter and dividend announcements.
Financial institutions led the decline as investors booked profits. Finance House slumped 7.1 per cent to Dh3.25 a share. Sharjah Islamic Bank lost 1 per cent to close at 91 fils. National Bank of Abu Dhabi lost 0.4 per cent to close at Dh10.80. First Gulf Bank fell 0.4 per cent to Dh10.80. The ADX General Index retreated 0.1 per cent to 2,475.31.
The index has risen more than 3 per cent since January.
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index rose yesterday, led by property and construction stocks. "There is no specific news linked to the movement of stocks" yesterday, said Wadah Al Taha, the chief investment officer at Al Zarooni Group in Dubai. "It seems that sentiment has turned after the fourth-quarter results were released."
Arabtec Holding, the biggest contractor in the emirate, rose 9.2 per cent to Dh2.60 a share.
The engineering contractor Drake & Scull Internationalrose 4.1 per cent to 93 fils. The DFM General Index advanced 0.6 per cent to 1,476.24.
Elsewhere in the region: Kuwait's measure lost 0.3 per cent to 5,840.20; Bahrain's was little changed at 1,135.84; Oman's MSM 30 Index was little changed at 5,567.73; and Qatar's QE Index also showed little movement at 8,726.37. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index fell 0.2 per cent to 6,738.9.