Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Tuesday as oil prices fell on expectations that lingering U.S. inflation could keep interest rates higher for longer, depressing consumer and industrial demand. U.S. Federal Reserve officials said on Monday they were awaiting more signs of slowing inflation before considering interest rate cuts.

Oil prices, a catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, dropped by more than $1 with Brent trading at $82.46 a barrel by 1300 GMT.

The Abu Dhabi benchmark index slipped 0.3% with conglomerate Alpha Dhabi Holding declining 4.8% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank sliding 2.6%. Among other losers, First Abu Dhabi Bank shed 0.8%, after the UAE's largest lender was reported to be in advanced talks to acquire Turkish conglomerate Koc Group's 61.2% stake in Yapi Kredi for about $8 billion.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index fell marginally with Al Rajhi Bank, the world's largest Islamic lender, shedding 0.8% and ACWA Power falling 1.9%, while Saudi Arabian Mining and Saudi Electricity gained 2.4% and 4.7% respectively.

The Qatari benchmark index rose 0.4%, helped by a 1.1% gain in Qatar National Bank, the region's largest lender and a 1.2% increase in Qatar Islamic Bank. Meanwhile, major gas producer Qatar has received over $10 billion in orders for its green bonds sale.

Dubai's benchmark index was up after four straight sessions of losses to end 0.2% higher, supported by gains in real estate and industry sectors. The blue-chip developer Emaar Properties surged 4.4% and tolls operator Salik Company climbed 1.5%. Elsewhere, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday the United Arab Emirates was experiencing strong economic growth, with overall real GDP projected to grow by about 4% this year, higher than earlier estimates.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index was steady with Talaat Mostafa falling 2.6% while E-finance for Digital climbed 4.6%. Separately, Egypt's central bank is likely to leave overnight interest rates unchanged when its monetary policy committee meets on Thursday, its first meeting since Egypt signed an $8 billion agreement with the IMF in March.

  • SAUDI ARABIA ended flat at 12,122
  • KUWAIT lost 0.3% to 7,791
  • QATAR was up 0.4% to 9,716
  • EGYPT ended flat at 27,225
  • BAHRAIN lost 0.2% to 2,014
  • OMAN fell 0.1% to 4,779
  • ABU DHABI lost 0.3% to 9,009
  • DUBAI added 0.2% to 4,075

(Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)