Dubai shares hit a seven-month low yesterday as concerns about the European debt crisis continued to weigh on investors.
The Dubai Financial Market General Market Index closed down 1.55 per cent, led by a 3.65 per cent decline by Emaar Properties. It was the fourth consecutive decline for the Dubai index.
Abu Dhabi shares also slid, falling 0.66 per cent after posting a modest 0.10 per cent gain on Sunday.
UAE banks were the big losers. Emirates NDB fell 3.03 per cent, followed by a 2.83 per cent decline by National Bank of Abu Dhabi and a 1.72 per cent drop by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
The sell-off was widespread.
"The sentiment reflects increased worries about what is coming out of Europe," said Mohammed Ali Yasin, the chief investment officer of CAPM Investment. "There is a feeling we are getting into another downward trend."
In the absence of any news to drive the local markets, investors are wary of growing their equity positions, Mr Yasin said.
Yesterday's news from around the world did little to buoy investor confidence.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 2.7 per cent in morning trading, sending a signal that Asia was also wary of the situation in Europe.
The session was an unsettling start to the fourth quarter for local markets, after a miserable third quarter.
"All GCC markets had a negative performance by the end of the first nine months of the year," Kuwait-based Global Investment House noted in a report released yesterday.