Saudi Arabia and Qatar stock markets closed lower on Sunday, as uncertainties in oil prices amid Chinese COVID-19 curbs and haggling over a cap on Russian oil prices, weighed on investors' sentiments, although Egypt rose, bucking the trend.
Crude prices, which fuel the region's growth, slipped 2% on Friday after world's top oil importer China continued to enforce mobility measures and other curbs to control outbreaks, hitting fuel demand.
Meanwhile, G7 and European Union diplomats have been discussing a Russian oil price cap of between $65 and $70 a barrel to limit revenue to fund Moscow's military offensive in Ukraine without disrupting global oil markets.
Oil prices could continue to see high volatility during this week as the talks about a cap divide Europe, while lower demand from China and possible new volumes from Venezuela could ease supply pressures, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 1.3%, with Al Rajhi Bank retreating 1.2%, while Sabic Agri-Nutrients was down 3.9%.
Separately, Saudi oil behemoth Aramco's base oil subsidiary, Luberef, has received the approval from the kingdom's stock market regulator for an initial public offering, the Capital Market Authority said on Thursday.
Aramco shares were down 0.3%.
The Qatari index also dropped 1.1%, extending losses from previous session, led by its financial stocks with Qatar Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank Qatar plunging 1.9% and 2.1% respectively.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index closed 1.8% higher, with E-Finance For Digital And Financial Investments rising 3.5% and Abu Qir Fertilizer surging 4.2%.
"Egyptian stock market, supported by the large trading volumes by local investors, continue to maintain its strong performance" added Takieddine.
(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru)