Most major stock markets in the Gulf fell in early trade on Monday tracking Asian shares lower ahead of a week packed with central bank meetings and U.S. inflation data that could make or break market hopes for an early and rapid fire round of rate cuts next year.
This week, investors are watching for guidance on interest rate policies from meetings at five central banks, including the Federal Reserve, and data on U.S. inflation, for their impact on the global economy and oil demand.
Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually guided by Fed decisions as most regional currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index eased 0.2%, hit by a 0.6% decrease in Elm Co and a 0.4% fall in Al Rajhi Bank.
However, oil giant Saudi Aramco added 0.2%.
Oil prices rose, extending gains for a second session as U.S. efforts to replenish strategic reserves provided some support, although concerns of crude oversupply and softer fuel demand growth next year persisted.
Dubai's main share index dropped 0.3%, with Emaar Properties losing 1.1% and sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank falling 0.7%.
In Abu Dhabi, the index was flat.
The Qatari benchmark lost 0.2% and was on course to fall for seventh session, with the Gulf's biggest lender Qatar National Bank declining 0.8%.
Israeli tanks on Monday sought to push further west in their battle against Hamas in and around Khan Younis, Gaza Strip's main city in the south, as U.N. officials reiterated calls for a ceasefire to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)