Kuwait's bourse gives back early-session gains to slip from a three-week high as investors book profits
Kuwait's bourse gives back early-session gains to slip from a three-week high as investors book profits, while UAE markets also retreat.
Kuwait's index drops 0.4 percent to 5,747 points, taking its year-to-date declines to 1.2 percent.
Small-caps dominate trade, with Abyaar Real Estate falling 1.3 percent and other developers also down. Bluechips are steady, with the five largest listed stocks trading flat.
Investors may be unwilling to increase risk ahead of further political protests in Kuwait. Opposition groups plan to stage a joint demonstration on Sunday against new voting rules as a standoff with the government intensifies ahead of an election on December 1.
Elsewhere, Dubai's index slips 0.4 percent to 1,611 points, heading for its fourth decline in the last six sessions.
Courier Aramex and National Central Cooling Co (Tabreed) fall 1 and 1.6 percent respectively.
Shuaa Capital is trading flat after posting a small quarterly loss.
Banks weigh on Abu Dhabi's measure, which is down 0.3 percent at 2,667 points.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank slip 2 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.
"UAE markets will be consolidating around these levels until there is a clear direction from international markets," says Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments. "There are fears of the US "fiscal cliff" and possible delays in proceedings for Greece's bailout.'
President Barack Obama on Friday said any deal with Congress to avert a fiscal crisis must come with higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans, which spurred some profit taking on US markets.
Elsewhere, Qatari banks also decline. Qatar National Bank and Masraf Al Rayan fall 0.5 and 0.6 percent respectively. Qatar Islamic Bank dips 0.9 percent.
The benchmark is down 0.3 percent at 8,551 points, trading within a 55-point range for the last five sessions.