Most equities in the Gulf slipped on Tuesday ahead of a key U.S. inflation print later this week, with Abu Dhabi shares falling after two days in the green while the Qatar index continued its upward momentum.

The Abu Dhabi benchmark index was down 0.2% after two straight sessions of gains, pressured by a 0.9% drop in conglomerate International Holding Co and a 1.2% decline in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. RAK White Cement advanced 3.6% after the Aditya Birla Group-owned UltraTech Middle East Investment acquired a 25% stake in the cements maker and raised its ownership to 54.4%.

Dubai's benchmark stock index was slightly down with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties sliding 1.1% and Mashreqbank dropping 1%, while Dubai Islamic Bank and tolls operator Salik Company gained 1.2% each.

The Qatari benchmark index advanced 0.6%, extending its gains to a sixteenth session, the longest rally in nearly 18 years. "The surge, driven by robust domestic buying, follows a period of decline that saw stock prices reaching multi-year lows," said Hani Abuagla, senior market analyst at XTB MENA. "The rebound in natural gas prices and improvements in the non-oil private sector activity have boosted the market sentiment."

Qatar National Bank, the region's largest lender, gained 1.1% and Industries Qatar added 0.5%. Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index was up 0.3%, supported by gains in most sectors. United International Transportation Company advanced 4.3% after its shareholders approved the acquisition of AutoWorld, a vehicle leasing company. Among other gainers, Methanol Chemicals climbed 5.2%.

The chemicals producer, Methanol has signed a 20-year agreement to supply methanol to Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company's (SATORP) Amiral project. Investors await U.S. personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index due on Friday for clues on the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy. Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar, and any U.S. monetary policy change is usually followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index rose 1.3% with all of its constituents posting gains. GB Corp surged 15.8% and Talaat Mostafa Group climbed 4.3%. Meanwhile, Egypt and the European Union are set to sign a 1 billion euro ($1.07 billion) agreement for macro financial assistance, the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation said.

  • SAUDI ARABIA up 0.3% to 11,731
  • KUWAIT lost 0.3% to 7,598
  • QATAR added 0.6% to 9,827
  • EGYPT gained 1.3% to 27,264
  • BAHRAIN lost 0.1% to 2,036
  • OMAN dropped 0.5% to 4,598
  • ABU DHABI lost 0.2% to 9,002
  • DUBAI fell 0.04% to 3,999

(Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)