Major Gulf markets fall after Fed warning

An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange
An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014./File Photo

Nov 14 (Reuters) - Major stock markets in the Gulf retreated in early trade on Monday after a top U.S. central banker warned investors against getting carried away over one inflation number.

The U.S. Federal Reserve may consider slowing the pace of rate increases at its next meeting but that should not be seen as a "softening" of its battle against inflation, Fed Governor Christopher Waller said on Sunday.

Most Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar, have their currencies pegged to the dollar and generally follow the Fed's policy moves, exposing the region to a direct impact from monetary tightening there.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index (.TASI) dropped 1.3%, dragged down by a 4.1% slide in Retal Urban Development Co (4322.SE) and a 1.3% decline in Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE).

Elsewhere, stock exchange operator and owner Saudi Tadawul Group (1111.SE) declined more than 6%, extending losses from the previous session.

The kingdom's Public Investment Fund sold a 10% stake in the firm through a secondary share offering, raising 2.3 billion riyals ($612 million). The fund sold 12 million shares through an accelerated bookbuild offering at 191 riyals each, a 9% discount to Thursday's closing price.

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) fell 0.4%, hit by a 0.9% fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU).

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) lost 0.3%, with the country's biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) losing 0.5%.

Separately, the United Arab Emirates forbade any increase in the prices of nine basic staple goods without prior government approval, state news agency WAM reported.

The Qatari index (.QSI) declined 0.7%, as most of the stocks on the index including petrochemical maker Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA) traded in negative territory.

($1 = 3.7588 riyals)

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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