Gulf Arab bourses are likely to face selling pressure on Monday, taking cues from a drop in Asian shares as disappointing US jobs data rattles investor confidence.
Saudi Arabia's market, which is often more strongly correlated to global markets than its neighbouring bourses, fell 1.8 percent on Sunday and is expected to extend declines amid a weaker global backdrop.
The kingdom's shares may correct further, with the country's main index still up 20.3 percent in 2012.
"We should continue to lose some ground but Saudi fundamentals and economy is still strong," says Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor.
"I wouldn't be surprised to see some buyers come in if we lose another 3 to 5 percent. There is some money on the sidelines, ready to be invested in the market but it's about the timing. People who have missed the rally are looking to optimise their buys."
Elsewhere, UAE markets are expected to withstand selling pressure and remain in a sideways trend as investors await first-quarter earnings.
Global Investment House has raised its price targets on Emaar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate. It increased Emaar's target from AED4 to AED3.30 and Sorouh's from AED1.25 to AED1.05.
Asian shares fell on Monday as a sharp slowdown in US jobs growth raised concerns about the strength of the world's largest economy, prompting investors to curb risk exposure ahead of more U.S. data and earnings as well as figures from China this week.
Brent crude is down US$1 as Iran agreed to resume talks that had collapsed more than a year ago on the country's nuclear programme with the US and its allies, raising hopes of a peaceful resolution to the standoff.