Gulf bourses will likely have a weak start on Wednesday hurt by global cues but trading decisions may be driven by investor's focus on first-quarter numbers.
In UAE, builder Arabtec surged on Tuesday, lifting Dubai's bourse to a four-week high after Abu Dhabi fund Aabar nearly doubled its stake to 10.45 percent.
Continued interest in Arabtec's shares is likely as analysts expect Aabar to further increase their stake in the Dubai contractor.
"Expect to see the trend to continue in the UAE and regionally some consolidation, especially in Saudi Arabia," says Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai. "Markets will be trading more on company specific news. I don't think people are looking as much at movements on international markets."
In Saudi Arabia, Yamama Cement climbed 2 percent in the previous session, after it kicked off earnings season, reporting a 54 percent earnings rise.
Meanwhile, the long-awaited opening of the kingdom's stock market to foreigners for direct ownership will be "gradual", the country's capital market regulator said on Tuesday.
The prospect has helped boost sentiment in the market is seen supporting further gains on the index which has rallied in recent months and is currently trading at its highest level since September 2008.
"I think the market will open in the next three to five month and will drive the market further," says Hesham Abo-Jamee, chief executive officer at Bakheet Investment Group. "The Saudi stock market is still attractive with big companies trading at low PE (price to earnings) ratios."
Elsewhere, Qatar National Bank will be in focus on Wednesday ahead of expected earnings results.
Five analysts polled by Reuters estimate the bank to post an average quarterly net profit of 2.094 billion rials ($575.12 million), up 22.1 percent from the year-earlier period.
In Kuwait, Burgan Bank will be in focus after sources said it is close to a deal to buy EFG Eurobank's 70-percent stake in Eurobank Tekfen, in a $350 million sale which would help shore up the struggling Greek lender.
Asian shares fell on Wednesday after the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's March meeting suggested the bank was less inclined to take further stimulus measures, in light of improving U.S. economy.
Front-month Brent crude fell 32 cents to $124.54 a barrel by 0243 GMT.