Most stock markets in the Gulf dropped on Monday as investors remained cautious ahead of the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting. The Fed is expected to issue minutes of its November meeting on Tuesday, which will be parsed for clues on the direction of U.S. interest rates.
Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually guided by the decisions of the U.S. Federal Reserve, as most regional currencies are pegged to the dollar.
The Qatari index fell 0.6%, snapping three straight sessions of gains, weighed down by a 1.4% drop in Industries Qatar and a 1.6% decline in Commercial Bank. The region's largest lender Qatar National Bank slumped 1.1%.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index retreated 0.2%, ending a four-day winning streak, with oil major Saudi Aramco sliding 0.9% and Elm Company down 1.6%.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index ended flat, with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution rising 1.9% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank gaining 1.2%. However, the conglomerate Alpha Dhabi and Aldar Properties lost 1.6 and 0.4%, respectively.
Dubai's benchmark index was up for a third consecutive session, ending 0.2% higher, driven by a 0.7% rise in developer Emaar Properties and a 1.1% gain in Dubai Islamic Bank.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index snapped a three-session winning streak and closed 0.6% lower, with Talaat Mostafa Group Holding dropping 3.3% and El Sewedy Electric Co declining 2.9%.
SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.2% to 11,119 KUWAIT lost 0.4% to 7,263 QATAR dropped 0.6% to 10,181 EGYPT declined 0.6% to 24,760 BAHRAIN added 0.1% to 1,945 OMAN was down 0.2% to 4,614 ABU DHABI ended flat at 9,575 DUBAI was up 0.2% to 4,002
(Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; Editing by Shweta Agarwal)