Most Gulf bourses fall, tracking oil and Asian shares lower

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

Aug 16 (Reuters) - Most major stock markets in the Gulf were subdued in early trade on Tuesday, tracking Asian shares and oil prices lower, with the Abu Dhabi index on course to drop for a third session.

Brent crude futures, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, were down $1.21, or 1.3%, to $93.89 a barrel by 0635 GMT, as bleak economic data from top crude buyer China renewed fears of a global recession.

China's central bank cut lending rates to revive demand as the nation's economy slowed unexpectedly in July, with factory and retail activity squeezed by Beijing's zero-COVID policy and a property crisis. read more

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Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) dropped 0.3%, hit by a 1.1% fall in top lender Emirates NBD (ENBD.DU) and a 0.3% decrease in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU).

On the other hand, blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) gained 0.5%.

The board of Emaar Properties, which owns the Dubai Mall, will meet on Thursday to discuss the sale of its e-commerce fashion business, the company said on Monday. read more

The meeting will be held a week after Emaar announced a $2 billion cash and stock buyout of a joint venture partner in one of its real estate projects.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) eased 0.2%, with the United Arab Emirates' biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) losing 0.6%.

The Qatari benchmark (.QSI) declined 0.4%, driven down by a 1% fall in the Gulf's biggest lender Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA) and a 0.7% decrease in Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA).

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI), however, bucked the trend to trade 0.2% higher, with Saudi Arabian Mining Co (1211.SE) advancing 4.7%.

But the Saudi index's gains were limited by a 0.7% fall in oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE).

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Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Potter

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