Regional stock markets dropped on 12 March as investors decided to cash in on their profits after recording steady rises over the past three months. The move was prompted by concerns over China’s economy, which resulted in decreases in stock markets across the globe.

The Dubai Financial Market was down 4.9 per cent at market close, while Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange dropped 2.77 per cent and the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) declined 0.04 per cent.

The region’s smaller markets – Muscat Securities Market, Qatar Exchange and Bahrain Bourse – also posted losses, falling 8.36 per cent, 0.96 per cent and 1.39 per cent respectively. Kuwait Stock Exchange went down 1 per cent.

That makes Oman the region’s top loser so far this week, declining 2.54 per cent between 9 and 12 March, followed by Abu Dhabi (2.42 per cent), Dubai (2.35 per cent) and Qatar (0.95 per cent).

With the exception of Kuwait and Oman, regional markets have increased between 10 and 21 per cent year-to-date.

The steady gains, following equally positive performances in 2013, have led to many stocks swinging into overbought territory in recent weeks, signalling a higher share price than the company fundamentals justify.