Time to take stock... Investors will be waiting for first-quarter results to see where they should commit next. Image Credit: Gulf News

UAE and Gulf stocks pulled back in early Monday trades with investors looking to free up some cash to invest it back in more promising stocks once they release first-quarter results. The GCC's under performance also follows the lackluster tone set by global markets, as it is customary to tread cautiously ahead of earnings announcements.

Dubai Financial Market slipped into the red by declining 0.2 per cent to 2,589 points. Real estate stocks underperformed peers in other sectors after leading recent index gains triggered by upbeat updates on the state of the property market and encouraging numbers from the Emaar Properties.

Taking a pause

Emaar shares scored significant advances in the last two trading sessions after its managing director's announcement that quarterly sales shot up to more than double the amount booked for the corresponding period last year. However, it dropped Monday as around 4 per cent appreciation in the previous couple of days made a decent case for investors to encash their positions.

Other property shares moved along similar lines by pulling back from Sunday's advances. Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange was nearly unchanged with banking stocks trending upward. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank was trading on top of gainers' list, while Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ticked up 0.4 per cent. But the gains in financial shares were countered by weaknesses elsewhere as International Holding and Aldar Properties slipped into red.

Lenders lead

Qatar Exchange edged down, but its lenders moved upward after a couple of its key lenders announced their first-quarter results. Qatar Islamic Bank picked up 0.8 per cent after it reported a 9 per cent jump in profits for the first three months, which amounted to QR750 million. Its total income posted an eight per cent growth coming in at QR2.1 billion, up from QR1.9 billion.

The Gulf's largest lender, Qatar National Bank, added 0.6 per cent as its results apparently surpassed most of market expectations despite reporting a 7 per cent drop in first-quarter profits. The hit was from the QR1.4 billion in precautionary loan loss provisions. However, its total assets increased by 8 per cent to QR1.04 trillion mostly on the back of rise in loan advances.

Bahrain shares traded 0.2 per cent higher as Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait and Alahli United Bank notched up, while most stocks hovered around flatlines. Kuwait premier index and Oman's 30-company gauge moved little as investors awaited first-quarter results.