Dubai's bourse fell for a sixth straight session yesterday as investors continued to book profits from an early-year surge, while other Gulf bourses were mixed in muted activity.
Bellwether Emaar Properties extended declines in heavy trade, down 1.3 percent. The stock went ex-dividend a day earlier.
Gulf Navigation fell 4.6 percent and Drake and Scull lost 3.3 percent, also trading ex-dividend.
Dubai Financial Market, the only listed Gulf bourse, slipped 1.8 percent. The company will hold a board meeting on Monday to approve its first-quarter financial results.
Dubai's index fell 0.9 percent to its lowest close since Feb. 20 and broke a support level at 1,592 points.
"Trend and momentum indicators are suggesting a downward extension next week, possibly to the next key level of 1,500 points," Sleiman Aboulhosn, assistant fund manager at Al Masah Capital said of Dubai. "Only strong buying activity and a sudden shift of sentiment can buoy this market next week, and I don't see much catalysts for such a shift."
Abu Dhabi's index slipped 0.2 percent, trimming its 2012 gains to 4.1 percent.
Property stocks dragged with Aldar and Sorouh Real Estate down 0.9 percent each.
Elsewhere, Doha's index ticked up 0.04 percent, trimming 2012 declines to 1.2 percent. Qatar is the only bourse in the region marking year-to-date losses, following two years of outperformance.
"Qatar is a defensive play and if there is a sell-off in UAE, Saudi or Egypt, it will come back into play," said Ali Adou Portfolio Manager at The National Investor.
Vodafone Qatar was the most active stock, rising 3.6 percent. Gainers outnumbered losers 10 to eight.
In Kuwait, the index rose 0.6 percent to finish at a near 12-month high as retail investors bet on short-term gains.
Gulf Bank and Ahli United Bank rose 1.2 percent each. Commercial Bank of Kuwait gained 3.9 percent.
The market is waiting for a new trading platform, the Nasdaq OMX, which will go live on May 13.
"It won't affect the performance of market, but it will help the efficiency of trading because it offers more depth for what you do with the market," said Jasem al-Zeraei, head of institutional sales at NBK Capital.
Small-caps dominated trade with Investor Holding Group surging 11.6 percent and National Ranges 6.5 percent.
In Oman, the index ended 0.2 percent higher, extending gains from Tuesday's four-week low.
Al Jazeera Steel Products and Dhofar International Development and Investment Holding gained 2.1 and 1.8 percent respectively.