Dubai led losses, coming under renewed pressure from blue chips and ex-dividend stocks
Most Gulf stock markets fell in early trade on Wednesday as oil prices declined further; Dubai led losses, coming under renewed pressure from blue chips and ex-dividend stocks.
Brent for May delivery fell 50 cents to $53.01 a barrel by 0700 GMT as U.S. crude inventories were forecast to have surged for the tenth straight week to a new record high.
Dubai's index dropped 2.0 percent as Emaar Properties, the emirate's largest listed developer, lost 2.6 percent. The company said this week it was not part of a $45 billion project to build a new capital city in Egypt, contrary to earlier media reports.
Bourse operator Dubai Financial Market and low-cost carrier Air Arabia fell 3.6 and 7.6 percent respectively as their shares no longer carried 2014 dividends.
However, start-up stocks Marka and Dubai Parks climbed 1.7 and 1.1 percent respectively.
Abu Dhabi edged down 0.5 percent and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co tumbled 7.1 percent. National Bank of Abu Dhabi provided some support, climbing 0.8 percent ahead of the dividend registration deadline.
Qatar's index edged down 0.4 percent as petrochemicals-to-metals conglomerate Industries Qatar fell 1.6 percent, while Kuwait was nearly flat and Oman edged up 0.3 percent.