The Saudi Arabian stock market snapped a five-day winning streak as attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman dampened investor sentiment in the region, while all major Gulf markets also declined.
Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.
Thursday's attacks were the second in a month near the Strait of Hormuz, a major strategic waterway for world oil supplies.
The United States and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for limpet mine attacks in May on four tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a charge Tehran denies.
Saudi's share index fell 1.6% with 10 stocks declining for every one gaining. Al Rajhi Bank slid 1.9% and heavyweight petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries shed 2.2%.
The index is still up over 14% year-to-date, outperforming its major Gulf peers in a rally led by foreign investors.
In Dubai, the index was down 1.2% with 22 of its stocks declining and one rising. Emaar Properties closed 1.5% lower, while Dubai Islamic Bank lost 1.4%.
In Qatar, a 2.4% drop in lender Masraf Al Rayan and a 1.9% fall in Qatar Fuel pushed the index 1% lower.
The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.5% with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank dropping 2.4% and Aldar Properties retreating 3.7%.
Egypt's blue-chip index edged up 0.2%, helped by Sixth Of October Development and Investment which gained 5.8%.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))