The Abu Dhabi and Dubai stock markets dropped sharply on Thursday, affected by global trade tensions and falling oil prices, which sent most Middle Eastern bourses sliding.
The Abu Dhabi index fell 1.4 percent, declining for the sixth straight session, with Abu Dhabi National Hotels plunging 7.4 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) sliding 5 percent.
On Monday, Abu Dhabi National Hotels reported a 2.7 percent drop in first-quarter profit, while ADCB has been falling since it posted a 5 percent drop in first-quarter profit last week, blaming lower interest income and higher cost of funds.
Globally, weak international equity markets due to trade tensions between the United States and China have also caused oil prices to drop, which played a role in Thursday's decline of UAE equities, Tariq Qaqish, managing director, asset management division, Mena Corp Financial Services said.
At the same time, a few companies published weaker first-quarter results such as Taqa, which compounded "fragile investors confidence", Qaqish added.
In Dubai, the indexI lost 1.5 percent, with the emirate's biggest lender Emirates NBD dropping 2.5 percent, while blue-chip developer Emaar Properties fell 2.8 percent.
Deyaar Development traded 3.4 percent lower. It said last week its first-quarter net profit more than halved.
Dubai's Nasdaq-listed DP World, one of the world's largest port operators, slid 4 percent. The firm agreed to buy Canadian marine terminal Fraser Surrey Docks from a Macquarie Group fund.
Saudi's index was down 0.5 percent, with Middle East Healthcare 4009.SE plunging 9.6 percent after it reported a 83 percent slump in first-quarter profit and its board decided against a dividend payout for 2018.
Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development decreased 3.1 percent after reporting a drop in first-quarter profit due to lower property sales.
Separately, Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres is set to raise as much as 2.8 billion riyals ($747 million) after pricing its initial public offering at the bottom of its indicative range, according to a company document.
Qatar's index was down 1 percent with heavyweight stocks Qatar National Bank and Industries Qatar falling 2.4 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
Egypt's blue-chip index was up 0.2 percent with El Sewedy Electric jumping 7.4 percent, rebounding from recent losses it suffered after going ex-dividend.
Developer Medinet Nasr for Housing and Development rose 5.5 percent. On Wednesday it reported a near 5 percent rise in first-quarter profit.
($1 = 3.7502 riyals)
(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter) ((email@example.com;))