Gulf bourses end mixed; Egypt hits lowest in over 2 years

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Traders wait at the Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

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July 3 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Sunday, with the Saudi index extending losses as investors fret that the latest show of central bank determination to tame inflation will slow economies rapidly.

Last week, central bank chiefs from the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England met in Portugal and voiced their renewed commitment to control inflation no matter what pain it caused. read more

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) dropped 0.5%, with Retal Urban Development Co (4322.SE) losing 2.4%, while Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) declined 2.6%.

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In Qatar, equities (.QSI) gained 0.7%, helped by a 1.7% rise in Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA).

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, gained more than 2% on Friday as supply outages in Libya and expected shutdowns in Norway outweighed expectations that an economic slowdown could dent demand. read more

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) declined 2.4%, hitting its lowest in over 2 years, with top lender Commercial International Bank (COMI.CA) losing 2.2%.

Behind the slides have been concerns over the Ukraine-Russia war, soaring inflation, higher interest rates and, more recently, a possible U.S. recession.

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Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra

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