Dubai: The Abu Dhabi index was down 1.67 per cent on Monday, amid selling activity in heavyweight banking stocks, as emerging markets in Asia continued their sell-off.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index (ADX) ended the day at 4,882.85 as investors booked some profits on the likes of First Abu Dhabi Bank, Aldar Properties, and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

The profit-taking activity came as Asian stocks fell, specifically in China, after reports suggested that the United States was about to announce yet another round of tariffs on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods.

The Shanghai Composite ended the day 1.1 per cent lower as the Hang Seng ended 1.3 per cent down.

In the UAE, the risk-off sentiment echoed through, with the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index also lower as trade volumes remained subdued.

The DFM index ended at 2.752.13, down 0.79 per cent after touching a low of 2,745 in the first two hours of trade.

“There’s a risk-off mode that we’re entering into at the moment. On ADX, banking stocks this year have done very well, and have had good returns…so there’s profit-taking but also more of a risk-off mentality given what’s happening across the globe,” said Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at First Abu Dhabi Bank’s asset management group.

Among the most actively traded stocks in Abu Dhabi were FAB, which fell 2.61 per cent, ADCB (down 1.88 per cent), and Dana Gas and Etisalat, which ended 1.72 per cent and 0.99 per cent lower respectively.

In Dubai, heavyweight Emaar was the most actively traded stock and fell 1.67 per cent to Dh4.71 after shedding 3.2 per cent on Sunday.

Most other stocks also ended in the red.

Shiv Prakash, senior research analyst at FAB Securities, said in a note on Sunday that Emaar breached a “key support level” of Dh4.9, closing bearish.

The property developer’s decline is weighing on the Dubai index, which on Sunday also breached the 2,800 support level, signaling further downside for the index.

From a fundamental perspective, FAB’s Khokhar said he expected to see continued volatility and pressure on markets in the short term, but that valuations on the DFM are likely “fairly close to a bottom.”

“In the short term, it’s really more a question of a nervousness not only in the Mena (Middle East and North Africa) markets, but more generally, in the emerging market space as a whole,” he said.