Most stock markets in the Gulf slipped into negative territory on Wednesday, as traders awaited U.S. inflation data for cues on a large Federal Reserve rate hike this month.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 1.1% to a near six-month low, with oil behemoth Saudi Aramco losing 3.4% and Sahara International Petrochemical Co plunging about 10%.

The U.S. dollar will remain strong for at least the next three months as it basks in both expectations for aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate rises and safe-haven appeal stemming from global recession fears, a Reuters poll of FX analysts showed.

Worries that higher rates could bring the global economy to a standstill, or even into a recession, have been the key driver for the slump in world stocks this year and the surge in the safe-haven U.S. dollar.

Dubai's main share index dropped 0.5%, weighed down by a 2.9% fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 0.6% decline in logistic firm Aramex.

In Abu Dhabi, stocks finished 0.8% lower, hit by a 0.7% fall in the United Arab Emirates' biggest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank.

However, Abu Dhabi Ports jumped 3.8%, after it signed an agreement to support Hayat Biotech's global expasion.

The Qatari index retreated 1.7%, dragged down by a 5.7% slide in Qatar Islamic Bank and a 2.6% fall in the Gulf's biggest lender, Qatar National Bank.

The Qatari index, which traded after a three session break, reopened lower as investors take into account the current uncertainties in the energy markets, said Farah Mourad, senior market analyst of XTB MENA. "The market continues to suffer from the volatility and changing natural gas market conditions."

** Egypt and Kuwait markets were closed for a public holiday.

SAUDI ARABIA lost 1.1% to 11,290

ABU DHABI fell 0.8% to 9,161

DUBAI down 0.5% to 3,113

QATAR dropped 1.7% to 11,883

BAHRAIN closed flat at 1,872

OMAN eased 0.1% to 4,115

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)