Most stock markets in the Gulf closed lower on Monday as geopolitical strife in the region remained an area of concern, while uncertainties surrounding the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy path added to the worries.

Explosions echoed over an Iranian city on Friday in what sources said was an Israeli attack. But Tehran played down the incident and indicated it had no plans to retaliate - a response that appeared geared towards averting region-wide war.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei thanked the country's armed forces for their attack on Israel, saying the country had demonstrated its power regardless of how many targets were hit, Iran's official news agency reported on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index eased 0.1%, hit by a 0.6% fall in Al Rajhi Bank and a 3.5% fall in SABIC Agri-Nutrient. Chicago Federal Reserve President Austan Goolsbee said on Friday progress on bringing down inflation had "stalled" this year, becoming the latest U.S. central banker to drop an earlier focus on the coming need for interest-rate cuts.

Dubai's main share index dropped 0.2%, with top lender Emirates NBD losing 1.8%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index declined 0.6%. The Abu Dhabi stock market remained under pressure, hitting a new low for the year, said Joseph Dahrieh, managing principal at Tickmill. "The market could remain exposed to the volatility and uncertainty in oil markets, where prices could continue to slide."

Global benchmark Brent slipped, although it remained above $86 a barrel as traders turned their focus back to inflation, as tensions in the Middle East have so far left actual oil supplies unperturbed.

The Qatari benchmark declined 1.3%, as most of its constituency was in negative territory, including Qatar National Bank, which was down 2.1%. Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index retreated 1.7%, with Talaat Mostafa Holding dropping 2.6%.

  • SAUDI ARABIA eased 0.1% to 12,509
  • ABU DHABI lost 0.6% to 9,076
  • DUBAI fell 0.2% to 4,168
  • QATAR dropped 1.3% to 9,665
  • EGYPT lost 1.7% to 28,144
  • BAHRAIN was flat at 2,016
  • OMAN down 0.1% to 4,698
  • KUWAIT was up 0.1% to 7,720

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)