Most major Gulf markets open lower on Fed caution; Dubai rises
Feb 9 (Reuters) - Most major Gulf markets tracked global peers lower on Thursday as expectation of higher interest rates by the U.S. Federal Reserve weighed on investor sentiment.
Federal Reserve officials said more interest rate rises are on the cards as the U.S. central bank moves ahead with efforts to control inflation.
Most Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, have their currencies pegged to the U.S. dollar and follow the Fed's policy moves closely, exposing the region to direct impact from monetary tightening in the world's largest economy.
The Qatari Stock index (.QSI) fell 0.6%, dragged down by losses in almost all sectors, with Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank dropping 1.1%.
The index heavyweights, Islamic banks Qatar International Islamic Bank and Masraf Al Rayan, dropped 2.4% and 1.5% respectively.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index (.TASI) traded 0.6% lower, weighed down by losses in most sectors with oil giant Saudi Aramco falling 0.9% and Al Rajhi Bank losing 0.8%.
The luxury real estate developer Retal Urban and Savola Group dropped 0.3% and 2%, respectively.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark stock index (.FTFADGI) fell 0.2%, dragged down by a 2.5% loss in Al Dar Properties and 0.4% fall in largest lender by assets, First Abu Dhabi Bank.
ADNOC Distribution fell 0.9% after it posted a decline in quarterly net profit.
Dana Gas slid 1.7% as it reported on Wednesday a fall in full year net profit.
Dubai's benchmark stock index (.DFMGI) rose 0.8%, lifted by gains in most sectors with Mashreq Bank jumping 5.2% and tolls operator Salik gaining 1.1%.
United Arab Emirates- based utility provider Dubai Electricity and Water Authority rose 2.5% after it reported 8 billion dirhams ($2.18 billion) in full year net profit, a 22% increase from year earlier.
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