Most major Gulf bourses fall on lower oil prices, IHC boosts Abu Dhabi

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

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June 29 (Reuters) - Most stock markets in the Gulf slipped on Wednesday, tracking oil prices and on concerns over inflation and the possibility of recession, although conglomerate International Holding Co helped Abu Dhabi buck the trend and trade higher.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) dropped 0.4%, hit by a 1.7% fall in Retal Urban Development Company (4322.SE) and a 0.8% decrease in oil behemoth Saudi Aramco (2222.SE).

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, fell after rising in the previous three sessions as the market tussled between concerns about the global economy and tight global oil supplies.

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Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) eased 0.1%, with top lender Emirates NBD Bank (ENBD.DU) losing 1.1% and blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) falling 0.4%.

The S&P 500 index (.SPX) retreated more than 2% overnight after data showed U.S. consumer confidence dropped to a 16-month low in June due to fears high inflation could cause the economy to slow significantly in the second half of the year. read more

In Abu Dhabi, equities (.FTFADGI) advanced 1.4%, with conglomerate International Holding Co (IHC) (IHC.AD) jumping about 6% at 305 dirhams ($83.05), fetching a valuation of over $150 billion.

On Tuesday, IHC's unit Alpha Dhabi Holding (ALPHADHABI.AD) announced that it increased stake in Aldar Properties (ALDAR.AD) and became the single-largest shareholder.

Shares of Alpha Dhabi gained 1.4% and Aldar added 0.7%.

IHC, whose assets include firms in the fast-growing healthcare and industrial sectors, is chaired by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates' national security adviser and a brother of the country's president Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

The Qatari index (.QSI) lost 0.4%, with the Gulf's biggest lender Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA) declining 1.3% after HCBC slashed its price target to 22.2 riyals from 25.6 riyals earlier.

($1 = 3.6727 UAE dirham)

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Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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