Gulf stock markets made a tentative start to the week, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi stocks weighed down on Sunday by profit taking in property and banking shares, which made big gains last week.
The Dubai index dropped 0.4 percent with shares in Emaar Properties down nearly 1 percent at 5.14 dirhams ($1.40).
The stock had risen to an intraday high of 5.42 dirhams on May 21 after a decision of the United Arab Emirates to grant residency visas of up to 10 years to investors and specialists.
But it has since lost most of those gains as investors remain cautious about the outlook for Dubai’s property market.
The Abu Dhabi index was hit by a reversal in First Abu Dhabi Bank shares following a rally in banking stocks which had been fueled by Emirates NBD’s deal to buy Turkey’s Denizbank from Russia’s state-owned Sberbank .
First Abu Dhabi Bank was down 1.6 percent and Emirates NBD was 1 percent lower.
Meanwhile, Saudi stocks were flat, hovering above the psychological barrier of 8,000 points as investors await a potential upgrade of the market to emerging markets status by index firm MSCI in June. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham)