Most Gulf stock markets closed lower on Monday,tracking global peers, as looming interest rate hikes by major central banks including the U.S. Federal Reserve weigh on investor sentiments, while Abu Dhabi bucked the trend.

Investors expect the Fed will raise rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, and any deviation from that script would be a real shock.

Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar, while Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar usually mirror U.S. monetary policy changes.

The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia lost 0.3%, ending its seven sessions of gains. The index was weighed down by losses in financial and material sector stocks, with Al Rajhi Bank falling 0.4% and Riyad Bank dropping 1.9%. Among other stocks, Saudi National Bank and Saudi Basic Industries fell 2.% and 0.6% respectively.

In Abu Dhabi, the index ended 0.7% higher after tumbling more than 3% to hit a six-month low. The index was lifted by a 4.2% gain in integrated utility firm Abu Dhabi National Energy and a 5.2% rise in telecoms provider Emirates Telecommunications. While conglomerate International Holding Company recovered its early losses and ended flat, its subsidiaries Alpha Dhabi Holding and Multiply Group recouped only partially, closing lower 2.9% and 4.2% respectively after they both plunged 10%.

Separately, IHC said on Monday it will invest 1.4 billion dirhams ($381.17 million) in India's Adani Enterprises' follow-on public offer. Dubai's benchmark index lost 0.8%, hurt by a decline in industrial and heavyweight real estate sectors with Emaar Properties falling 2.1%, and toll operator Salik declining 3.1%.

The Qatari Stock index fell 0.3%, with most of its constituent stocks were in negative territory. The Gulf's biggest lender, Qatar National Bank, fell 0.5% and Masraf Al Rayan dropped 5.1% on weak earnings. The lender posted a more than 22% slump in full-year net profit.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index declined 2.2%, snapping its 12-session rally. The index was dragged down by losses in almost all its constituent stocks. Telecom Egypt dropped 7.1% and Talaat Mostafa and EFG Hermes declined 3.3% and 2.9% respectively.

  • SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.3% to 10,811
  • QATAR lost 0.3% to 11,123
  • EGYPT dropped 2.2% to 17,027
  • BAHRAIN flat 0.04% at 1,931
  • OMAN lost 0.3% to 4,750
  • KUWAIT fell 0.7% to 8,084
  • ABU DHABI rose 0.7% to 9,802
  • DUBAI lost 0.8% to 3,303

(Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; Editing by Maju Samuel)