Gulf stock markets were mostly subdued in early trade on Wednesday in line with Asian peers as a rally driven by news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine lost momentum and oil prices steadied.

A gauge of global equity markets surged recently on data from Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine, but lost ground after a sceptical press report said Moderna didn’t produce data critical to assessing the vaccine.

Oil prices held steady despite signs of improving demand and a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories, as worries over the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic capped gains.

Brent crude futures were up 10 cents at $34.75 per barrel at 0626 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 2 cents at $31.94.

Saudi Arabia's index was up 0.2% in choppy trade. Saudi Aramco rose 0.5%, registering its seventh consecutive daily gain.

National Commercial Bank gained 0.7%.

Abu Dhabi's index edged up 0.1% with First Abu Dhabi Bank adding 0.4%. The lender said on Monday it suspended plan to acquire the Egyptian business of Lebanon's Bank Audi, gained 0.4%.

Gains were capped by telecoms company Etisalat, which lost 0.4% after saying that its chief executive has resigned. 

Duabi's index was flat as Emirates NBD Bank gained 0.5 and Aramex slipped 1.3%.

Deyaar Development dropped 4.9%. The property developer, on Sunday reported nearly 86% decline in first quarter profit.

Qatar's index ticked up 0.2% as Mas Al Rayland and Mesaieed Petrochemical gained 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively.

Qatar has extended a programme that provides guarantees to local banks from the Qatar development bank, with interest-free loans for a full year instead of six months, the state news agency reported on Tuesday.


(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean) ((;))