Emaar Properties was an early gainer on the Dubai market as traders took advantage of the last day they are entitled to a dividend payout.
The bellwether property developer rose 0.3 per cent to Dh3.21 at the open and was one of the more heavily traded stocks. Emaar shareholders late last month approved the distribution of a 10 per cent cash dividend for 2010, its first payout in three years.
The Dubai Financial Market gained 0.2 per cent to 1,551.25 and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange slipped 0.5 per cent to 2,588.12 points.
But fund managers and analysts remained on the sidelines ahead of first quarter results, of which Saudi Arabia is expected to be the first to release.
"It's not about the actual results, but what results are versus expectations," said Irfan Ellam, an analyst at Al Mal Securities in Dubai.
He said traders were focused particularly on the petrochemicals and banking stocks in Saudi Arabia, though the "jury is still out" for stocks in the UAE. The UAE typically announces financial results later than the rest of the GCC.
Construction companies and developers weighed on the local market as Aldar Properties slumped 2.6 per cent to Dh1.46 in Abu Dhabi and Arabtec fell 0.6 per cent to 1.69.