Gulf stocks miss out on a worldwide rally in equities after retail investors desert local markets, while institutional investors spy rich pickings.
Local markets miss out on global rally
UAE bourses bucked a worldwide trend to finish the day lower after retail investors largely deserted the markets.
World equity indexes and commodities rose higher after a positive start to the week's trading on Asian markets.
However, the Dubai Financial Market General Index declined 1.35 per cent to 1,653.61 and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index lost 0.77 per cent to 2,744.89.
Emaar Properties led the Dubai market lower, falling 2.4 per cent to Dh3.60 per share, while banks, including United Arab Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, were among the biggest losers in the capital.
Etisalat, the largest company on the Abu Dhabi exchange by weighting, saw a 0.4 per cent slide to Dh10.90 per share.
"The whole market has been suffering today for no reason," said Marwan Shurrab, the assistant fund manager and chief trader at Gulfmena Alternative Investments.
"It's not as much that investors are spooked," he said, "[but that] there weren't enough investors willing to enter the market at current prices to support the market, and that's why they have been seeing a sell-off."
However, he expected the drop could translate into a buying opportunity for institutional investors.
"Institutions will be looking into building positions at support levels, looking for a strong end-of-year."
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Qatar broke its winning streak since being named as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which has seen local markets rise 7 per cent since December 2. The QE Index fell 0.6 per cent to 8,741.97, its largest decline since November 23.
Oman fell 0.7 per cent to 6,660.51; Bahrain was flat at 1,424.3 and Kuwait slid 0.25 per cent to 6,786.8.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index, however, rose 0.74 per cent, surging in the last half hour of trading to 6508.93 points.