Most major Gulf shares lost steam on Thursday, ending a two-day rally triggered by the giant $2 trillion stimulus package in the United States to mitigate the economic blow from the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.
In Abu Dhabi, the index sank 3.8%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and telecoms firm Etisalat dropping 5% and 4.9%, respectively.
Dubai's main share index slipped 0.8%. The United Arab Emirates' (UAE) largest sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank fell 3.1%, while Emaar Malls was down 3.6%.
The UAE will halt all public transport and restrict people's movements in the evening for a weekend nationwide disinfection campaign starting Thursday to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
The Qatari index lost 0.7%, as Qatar National Bank declined 3.5% and Qatar Islamic Bank eased 1.4%.
The Gulf state temporarily closed all in-person money exchange and transfer services from March 26 to limit the spread of the coronavirus, its state news agency said on Wednesday.
The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council has recorded nearly 2,500 coronavirus cases, with eight deaths. Saudi Arabia has the highest tally of infections at 900.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index, however, advanced 1.9%, extending gains for a third session, led by banking shares. Al Rajhi Bank increased 1.7%, while National Commercial Bank was up 2.7%.
The kingdom, which reduced trading hours temporarily for all listed securities, reported its second coronavirus death and tightened a nationwide curfew on Wednesday.
Egypt's blue-chip index edged up 0.5%. El Sewedy Electric increased 2.5% and Cleopatra Hospital ended 3.1% higher.
Egypt, which has declared a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for two weeks from Wednesday to prevent the spread of coronavirus, also reduced its trading hours for the same period.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))