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Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Thursday, with the Qatari index extending losses for a fourth session, on worries about global economic growth and weakening oil prices.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index retreated 1.2%, a day after posting its biggest intraday fall in two months, with Al Rajhi Bank losing 1.4% and oil giant Saudi Aramco retreating 1.1%.

This month, both the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are expected to raise borrowing costs aggressively. Data overnight showed euro zone inflation had risen to another record high last month, solidifying the case for a 75 basis point (bps) rate hike from the ECB next week.

Most Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including the kingdom, have their currencies pegged to the dollar and generally follow the Fed’s policy moves, exposing the region to a direct impact from U.S. monetary tightening.

The Qatari index dropped 1.8%, as almost all the stocks on the index were in negative territory including Qatar Islamic Bank, which was down 2.8%.

Oil prices, a key factor for the Gulf’s financial markets, tumbled, as new COVID-19 lockdown measures in China added to worries that high inflation and interest rate hikes are denting fuel demand.

Brent crude futures fell $2.10, or 2.2%, to $93.54 a barrel by 1013 GMT.

In Abu Dhabi, equities closed 1.6% lower, hit by a 2.9% drop in the country’s biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The UAE’S Abu Dhabi National Oil Company said on Thursday it has sent its first low-carbon ammonia shipment to Germany.

The cargo, which was produced by Fertiglobe, will be delivered to Aurubis, one of the world’s largest copper recyclers, the company said.

Shares of Fertiglobe tumbled about 3%.

Dubai’s main share index gave up early gains to end 0.8% lower.

The Dubai bourse was volatile while traders considered the strong local fundamentals and the weakening global economy, said Farah Mourad, Senior Market Analyst of XTB.

“The market could see some price corrections if sentiment continues to deteriorate.”

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index lost 0.6%.

========================================
 SAUDI ARABIA    fell 1.2% to 12,143
 ABU DHABI       lost 1.6% to 9,720
 DUBAI           down 0.8% to 3,415
 QATAR           dropped 1.8% to 13,183
 EGYPT           lost 0.6% to 9,937
 BAHRAIN         was up 0.2% to 1,923
 OMAN            rose 0.4% to 4,605
 KUWAIT          declined 0.8% to 8,527
========================================

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