Lender Emirates NBD fell in unusually heavy trading, while Arabtec rose
Most Gulf bourses traded narrowly early on Thursday as investors lacked the optimism to buy back beaten-down stocks aggressively, despite attractive valuations after the bear trend of the past several weeks.
Dubai's index retreated in the opening minutes to test fresh multi-year lows, as Emirates NBD, the largest bank in the emirate, fell more than 2.0 percent in unusually heavy trade.
The index then briefly traded in positive territory and was down 0.1 percent after an hour.
Builder Arabtec, the most heavily traded stock, advanced 1.9 percent, trimming some of Wednesday's 7.7 decline. But Drake and Scull and Emaar Properties fell 1.3 and 0.5 percent respectively.
Abu Dhabi's bourse dipped at the open before climbing 0.4 percent. Dana Gas gained 2.6 percent after falling more than 2.5 percent at the opening.
First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank , sector heavyweights, helped lift the index higher, trading up 1.0 and 1.7 percent.
In Doha, the index fell 0.9 percent in the first 15 minutes with the sell-off concentrated in real estate developers. The biggest loser in the sector was large-cap Barwa Real Estate, down 2.7 percent.