Major stock markets in the Gulf dropped in early trade on Thursday as minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's last policy meeting cemented bets the central bank will not cut interest rates soon.

The bulk of Fed policymakers at the January meeting were concerned about the risks of cutting rates too soon, with broad uncertainty about how long borrowing costs should remain at their current level, minutes released on Wednesday showed.

Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar and any monetary policy change in the United States is usually mimicked by Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The Qatari benchmark index declined 0.7%, weighed down by losses in most sectors. Qatar Islamic Bank fell 3.8% and the region's largest lender Qatar National Bank shed 0.5%.

Dubai's benchmark stock index retreated 0.2%, with almost all sectors in the negative territory.

Emaar Properties slid 1.1% and Dubai Islamic Bank slipped 0.6%.

In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark stock index fell 0.2%, dragged by a 0.5% loss in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and 0.3% dip in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

(Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; Editing by Eileen Soreng)