Stock markets in the UAE edged down on Wednesday after hitting five-year highs the previous day, with pronounced profit-taking in Abu Dhabi and Dubai stalled near a psychologically important level.
Abu Dhabi's bourse ended 0.8 percent lower at 3,986 points, but is up 51.5 percent in 2013. Among regional bourses, only Dubai has made bigger gains this year.
"This is just very natural booking of profits towards the year-end," said Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management.
Financial stocks were the biggest drag, with United Arab Bank, First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi all in retreat.
Dubai's measure slipped 0.07 percent to 3,100 points, trimming 2013 gains to 91 percent.
In Egypt, Cairo's benchmark index rose for a fourth session in six, gaining 0.4 percent in sluggish trade.
Egyptian urban consumer inflation soared in November to its highest annual rate in nearly four years, figures published on Tuesday showed.
This increase along with last week's surprise interest rate cuts have spurred investors to buy local equities, said Islam Batrawy, a Cairo-based trader.