Gulf markets were mixed in early trade, while Emirates NBD helped push up Dubai's benchmark.
Dubai's top lender rose 4.2 percent. The bank's chief executive said in March it is looking for merger opportunities in the region.
"Markets will probably move sideways generally in Dubai and Abu Dhabi," said Mohammed Yasin, CAPM Investment's chief investment officer.
Dubai's index added 0.2 percent to 1,553 points.
Abu Dhabi's index slipped 0.3 percent to 2,593 points as heavyweight First Gulf Bank fell 1.8 percent.
"Consolidation is not a bad thing. We are in anticipation of Q1 results that could be a positive catalyst," Yasin said.
Bluechip stocks will retain attention of smaller investors while institutional and high-net worth investors sit on the sidelines, he added.
Oman's index gained 0.4 percent to 6,292 points, helped by Bank Muscat. The lender rose one percent in third day of gains.
Kuwait's benchmark was flat, slipping 0.03 percent to 6,299 points.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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