On Thursday, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange ended 1.83 per cent lower at 4,587.18, after hitting a low of 4,543.87, a level last seen in early February, after First Gulf Bank, which has a weightage of 20 per cent on the index, went ex-dividend.
“The stock markets were slightly pressured this week due to lack of trading activity and a low level of confidence. The Abu Dhabi Index held well throughout the period, closing in the red,” said Talal Touqan, head of research and advisory at Al Ramz Capital.
“The market remains stuck in a sideways channel with expectations of higher volatility next week as well as mechanical pressures due to ex-dates,” said Touqan.
First Gulf Bank, which was the second-most active stock in trade, ended 6.13 per cent lower at Dh14.55.
The Dubai Financial Market General Index ended flat at 3,747.54, after trading in a narrow range of 3,686.20-3,758.23. Volumes were placed at Dh431 million, almost more than half of the daily average of Dh1 billion.
Emaar Properties ended 2.99 per cent lower at Dh7.13, after it proposed a cash dividend of Dh0.15 per share for 2014. Damac Properties ended 2.66 per cent lower at Dh2.56. Arabtec ended 0.68 per cent lower at Dh2.91.
Dubai Parks and Resorts ended 3.53 per cent higher at Dh0.850. Dubai Islamic Bank ended 1.81 per cent higher at Dh6.74.
Brent was up 50 cents a barrel at $60.98 by 1140 GMT. US light crude was up 10 cents at $50.86 a barrel.
“The global environment looks pretty good. We are in a situation now where we are looking ahead to quarter one results. I don’t think the outlook is negative as traders wait for consolidation and wait for more triggers amid dividend payments,” Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi Asset Management.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All share TASI index ended 0.58 per cent higher at 9,517.94 after Mobily jumped.
Saudi Basic Industries ended 0.19 per cent higher at 93 Saudi riyals.
Elsewhere in the region, Qatar’s Doha Bank also fell on its ex-dividend date, tumbling more than 7 per cent and dragging the Doha benchmark.
Qatar Exchange Index ended 0.08 per cent higher at 12,139.42. Muscat Securities MSM 30 Index ended 0.27 per cent lower at 6,526.45. Kuwait Stock Exchange Index ended 0.35 per cent lower at 6,539.29.
Bahrain Bourse All Share Index ended 0.20 per cent higher at 1,467.01.