Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Thursday, tracking global shares as investors shunned riskier assets on worries about global inflation, China's zero-COVID policy and the Ukraine war.

The S&P 500 had lost 4% on Wednesday while the Nasdaq had fallen almost 5% as stark warnings from some of the world's biggest retailers underscored the impact of inflation.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index dropped 2.3%, underperforming the region, dragged down by a 2.8% fall in Al Rajhi Bank and a 2.3% decline in oil behemoth Saudi Aramco. Among other losers, Saudi Electricity closed 5.7% lower, extending losses from Wednesday when it reported a drop in quarterly net profit.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gave up early gains, to finish 0.6% lower, hit by a 2% fall in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank. On the other hand, International Holding Co (IHC) advanced 1.5%, extending gains from the previous session when the conglomerate announced the completion of a 7.3-billion dirham ($1.99 billion) investment deal for three Adani companies.

Dubai's main share index slid 1.4%, with sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank losing 3% and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications retreating 1.6%. The Dubai index fell after a small rebound as investors continue to secure their gains, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA BDSwiss. "The market has recorded significant increases in the last few months and could see additional price corrections along with other international markets."

The Qatari index declined 2.2%, as almost all the stocks on the index were in negative territory including the Gulf's largest lender, Qatar National Bank, down 5.9%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index added 0.8%, helped by a 2.9% rise in top lender Commercial International Bank.

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