Most Gulf markets ease as OPEC+ keeps steady policy

A general view shows the Dubai Financial Market after Joe Biden wins U.S. presidency, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates November 8, 2020. REUTERS/Christopher Pike/Files

Dec 5 (Reuters) - Most stock markets in the Gulf fell in early trade on Monday, with the Saudi index leading the losses as OPEC+ kept steady policy amid a weakening economy and the G7's Russian oil price cap.

OPEC+ agreed to stick to its oil output targets at a meeting on Sunday as the oil markets struggle to assess the impact of a slowing Chinese economy on demand and a G7 price cap on Russian oil supply.

OPEC+, which comprises the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, angered the United States and other Western nations in October when it agreed to cut output by 2 million barrels per day (bpd), about 2% of world demand, from November until the end of 2023.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) dropped 1.4%, dragged down by a 1.3% fall in Retal Urban Development Co (4322.SE) and a 1.4% slide in oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE).

On Sunday, the kingdom's stock exchange said it was launching a market-making framework for its stock and derivatives markets to help ensure liquidity and raise price-determination efficiency.

State-led IPO programmes in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have helped equity capital markets in the oil-rich Gulf, in sharp contrast to the United States and Europe, where global banks have been trimming headcount in a deal-making drought.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) retreated 0.9%, hit by a 0.6% fall in conglomerate International Holding (IHC.AD).

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI), which traded after a two session break, rose 0.5%, helped by a 2% rise in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU).

Separately, the United Arab Emirates' president arrived in Qatar on Monday in the first such visit since Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies ended a boycott of Doha nearly two years ago.

The Qatari index (.QSI) fell 0.5%, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA) losing 1.7%.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra

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