Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Tuesday, following a sharp decline in oil prices and worries about a potential global recession.

Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets, fell by over $3 a barrel on fears an inflation-induced weakening of global economies would soften fuel demand, and as Iraqi crude exports have been unaffected by clashes.

Brent crude futures for October settlement fell $3.81, or 3.63%, to $101.28 a barrel by 1156 GMT, after hitting a session low of $100.90 a barrel.

Inflation is near double-digit territory in many of the world’s biggest economies, a level not seen in close to half a century. This could prompt central banks in the United States and Europe to resort to more aggressive interest rate hikes that could curtail economic growth and weigh on fuel demand.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index declined 0.6%, weighed down by a 2.9% fall in Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services and a 0.6% decrease in Al Rajhi Bank.

Most Gulf markets in red on rate hike fears

The Qatari index eased 0.1%, with Qatar Islamic Bank losing 1.3%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index closed flat after a more than 1% decline in the previous session, with the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank edging 0.2% higher.

Dubai’s main share index, however, bucked the trend to close 0.8%, buoyed by a 2.7% jump in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index firmed 0.1%, ending two sessions of losses, helped by a 2.7% rise in Abu Qir Fertilizers.

The index, which is down more than 15% so far this year, has come under pressure because of a sharp slide in foreign portfolio investor holdings and rising costs of key commodity imports, especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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 SAUDI ARABIA    fell 0.6% to 12,456
 ABU DHABI       was flat at 9,963
 DUBAI           added 0.8% to 3,464
 QATAR           eased 0.1% to 13,613
 EGYPT           rose 0.1% to 10,132
 BAHRAIN         was up 0.1% to 1,916
 OMAN            down 0.3% to 4,577
 KUWAIT          dropped 0.2% to 8,639
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