The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange retreated for the fourth session running yesterday as the general index lost 36.86 points, or 1.41 per cent, to close at 2580.76.
Real estate, construction and energy stocks continued to press down on the general index.
All sectors declined yesterday apart from the industrial index, which remained unchanged. A total of 26 stocks retreated, two advanced and one remained unchanged.
ADX continued to retreat in calm trading with low turnover as 106.1 million shares worth Dh138 million changed hands.
Real estate and energy stocks, including Rakprop, Aldar, Sorouh, Dana and Aabar, were the leading active players as they accounted for almost 90 per cent of the volume. All retreated during the session.
NBAD and Adib were the only gainers, by 1.45 and 0.37 per cent, respectively, though they advanced on very low turnover.
"There is a continuing absence of trading or investment appetite on ADX," said Senior Market Analyst Wadah Al Taha.
"Major buyers, especially institutions, are out of the market.
"Though current prices are very attractive for medium-to-long term investments, the majority of investors prefer to wait for the second quarter results. They want to pick up stocks at lower levels to increase their profits when the market rebounds.
"Selling pressures came from short-term investors who are selling to enter again at lower levels. Energy stocks are facing pressure due to recent reports that oil prices are expected to test the $60 level again. However, these reports do not justify the sharp decline in prices as the fundamentals of these companies are strong."
Taha said banking stocks would continue to face pressure until the Central Bank clarified details about the exposure of UAE banks to Saudi groups, Algosaibi and Saad.
"The Central Bank is introducing facilities for banks with exposure to the two troubled groups without giving detailed information about the situation. This is confusing investors and opening the door to more rumours. Investors are hesitant and have returned to quick profit booking positions due to the uncertainty," he added.