GCC equities were mostly negative yesterday, with shares in the UAE losing momentum after two days of gains. The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index retreated 0.7 per cent to 1,822.05, as investors sold property and construction stocks. Emaar Properties fell 0.7 per cent, while Deyaar and Union Properties closed 3.8 per cent and 1.8 per cent lower, respectively. Arabtec Holding, the region's largest listed contracting company, slipped 1.5 per cent.
Shares of the DFM also declined 1.5 per cent after Shuaa Capital cut its price target for the operator of the stock exchange. "It's mostly profit-taking but the volumes are light," said Hassan Awan, an associate at the asset management division of The National Investors in Abu Dhabi. "Investors are largely holding on waiting for major firms to announce earnings." In the capital, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index dropped 0.2 per cent to 2,859.76.
Aldar Properties declined 1.3 per cent and Sorouh Real Estate gave up 1.2 per cent. Bank of Sharjah was among the major losers, declining 4.1 per cent. Etisalat sagged 1 per cent. "It's the same story here," Mr Awan said. "Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been moving in tandem recently; Abu Dhabi with less intensity." Elsewhere in the region, shares in Bahrain slid 1.6 per cent lower while Kuwait stocks closed with a loss of 0.8 per cent. Muscat's bourse posted a marginal loss. Qatar and Saudi main measures bucked the trend, with Qatar closing up 0.8 per cent and Saudi finishing 0.01 per cent higher.