Major stock markets in the Gulf fell in early trade on Thursday, pressured by financial stocks as oil prices slipped following signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve will tighten monetary policy.
Brent crude futures were down 57 cents, or 0.9%, to $89.18 a barrel at 0440 GMT, after earlier falling by as much as 1.1% to $89. Brent climbed 2% on Wednesday.
Dubai's main share index fell 0.4%, pressured by a 0.7% decline in Dubai's largest lender, Emirates NBD Bank, and a 0.6% decrease in blue-chip developer Emaar properties.
Emirates NBD shares rose as much as 1.1% on Wednesday after reporting a 34% rise in annual profit as an improving economy boosted investment banking income, while impairments fell.
The Abu Dhabi index fell 1.3%, dragged by a 3.7% dive in its largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank. However, shares of FAB were up 9% year-to-date, reflecting investor expectations of an economic recovery and hope that rising interest rates would boost earnings.
FAB reported a net profit of 12.53 billion dirhams ($3.41 billion) last year, up about 19% from 10.55 billion dirhams in 2020.
In Qatar, the benchmark index, however, bucking the trend, stocks edged up 0.2%, helped by Industrial stocks, as Industries Qatar gained 0.8%.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index was flat, with lender Riyad Bank losing 0.9%, while Saudi Kayan Petrochemical was up 1.9% after posting a 185.7% rise in profit for the fourth quarter.
($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham) ($1 = 3.7517 riyals)
(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru Editing by Robert Birsel) ((email@example.com; +918067497252;))