Major stock markets in the Gulf were subdued in early trade on Thursday, as mounting worries about the risks of a global recession kept broad investor sentiment fragile.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday the central bank was not trying to engineer a recession to stop inflation but was fully committed to bringing prices under control even if doing so risked an economic downturn.
A Reuters poll showed the Fed will deliver another 75-basis-point interest rate hike in July, followed by a half-percentage-point rise in September, and won't scale back to quarter-percentage-point moves until November at the earliest.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index was down 0.1% in a choppy trade, with petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp falling 0.4%.
Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial market, continued to retreat as investors reassessed the risks of recession and the impact of interest rate hikes in major economies on fuel demand.
The main share index in Dubai, the Middle East's travel and tourism hub, dropped 0.7%, hit by a 1.4% fall in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.
In Abu Dhabi, the equities eased 0.2%, with conglomerate International Holding losing 0.3%.
The Qatari benchmark fell 0.3%, with Qatar Gas Transport declining 3.7%.
Separately, more than 1.2 million tickets have been sold for Qatar's 2022 soccer World Cup, organisers said on Wednesday.
Qatar said it had hoped to attract 1.2 million visitors during the World Cup, nearly half of its population.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)