Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Monday as investors tempered expectations of a cut to interest rates in the United States as they awaited November jobs data from the world's largest economy.

Investors will be looking at a bunch of U.S. employment data this week, starting with the U.S. jobs opening data due at 1530 GMT. This will be followed by November ADP National Employment figures and the more comprehensive November nonfarm payrolls report later in the week.

Most Gulf Cooperation Council countries have their currencies pegged to the U.S. dollar and closely follow the Federal Reserve's policy, exposing the region to a direct impact from monetary tightening in the world's largest consumer of crude oil.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index dropped 0.4%, weighed down by a 0.5% fall in oil giant Saudi Aramco and a 2% decrease in Al Rajhi Bank. Growth in non-oil business activity in Saudi Arabia eased in November from the previous month as a decline in export demand and inflationary pressures militated. Still, the outlook was positive as new orders hit a five-month high, a survey showed on Tuesday.

In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.2%. The Abu Dhabi bourse continues to record some volatility and could decline if price corrections continue after a period of uncertainty, said Milad Azar, Market Analyst at XTB MENA. "

Oil markets could remain a source of concern for traders in particular as uncertainty around the impact of production cuts on prices remains," Azar added.

Dubai's main share index lost 0.2%, hit by a 2.2% fall in toll operator Salik Co and a 1.2% decrease in Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corp.

The Qatari benchmark was down 0.2%, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar. Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index closed 0.5% lower.

Egypt's non-oil private sector contracted for a 36th straight month in November, and business confidence dropped to its lowest in at least 11 years as record inflation took its toll, a survey showed on Tuesday.

  • SAUDI ARABIA down 0.4% to 11,144
  • ABU DHABI fell 0.2% to 9,520
  • DUBAI eased 0.2% to 3,978
  • QATAR declined 0.2% to 9,945
  • EGYPT down 0.5% to 25,128
  • BAHRAIN dropped 0.4% to 1,942
  • OMAN lost 1.5% to 4,600
  • KUWAIT was up 0.1% to 7,266

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru: Editing by Tasim Zahid)