Most Gulf markets ended lower on Tuesday, mirroring Asian shares, as concerns about potential roadblocks to new U.S. President Joe Biden's planned $1.9 trillion stimulus weighed on investor sentiment.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index lost 0.7%, weighed down by a 1% fall in Al Rajhi Bank and a 2.2% decline in the country's largest lender National Commercial Bank.
The Dubai index declined 0.9%, its third loss in four sessions, hit by a 1.8% fall in the blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.3% retreat in Emirates NBD Bank .
Abu Dhabi's benchmark slipped 0.6%, pressured by a 1.7% drop in the United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi.
The number of daily coronavirus cases in the UAE, a federation of seven emirates, has tripled in the past month. On Monday authorities registered 3,579 new infections and nine deaths. They do not provide a breakdown per emirate.
Forecasts for economic recoveries in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council in 2021 have been trimmed while expectations for gross domestic product declines last year were mixed in a quarterly Reuters survey of analysts released on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, the Qatari benchmark, closed 0.3% down, extending losses for a fourth straight session.
The top decliners included Qatar National Bank and Qatar Gas Transport Co, which fell 1% and 1.8%, respectively.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index, bucked the trend to finish 0.2% higher, supported by a 6.3% jump in Juhayna Food Industries.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))