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Most stock markets in the Gulf were subdued on Sunday amid geopolitical strife and uncertainties surrounding US Federal Reserve policy.

In its first ever direct attack on Israel, Iran sent a barrage of more than 300 missiles and drones on April 13 in what it said was retaliation for Israel’s suspected deadly strike on its embassy compound in Damascus on April 1.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei thanked the country’s armed forces for their attack on Israel, saying the country had demonstrated its power regardless of how many targets were hit, Iran’s official news agency reported on Sunday.

Gulf markets end mixed as investors assess Fed, geopolitical tensions

Elsewhere Chicago Federal Reserve President Austan Goolsbee said on Friday progress on bringing down inflation had “stalled” this year, becoming the latest US central banker to drop an earlier focus on the coming need for interest rate cuts.

Among individual Middle East markets, Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index edged 0.1% higher, helped by a 2.6% rise in ACWA Power.

The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday Middle East economies would grow at a slower pace this year than it previously projected, as the war in Gaza, attacks on Red Sea shipping and lower oil output add to existing challenges of high debt and borrowing costs.

The IMF revised down its 2024 growth forecast for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to 2.7% from 3.4% in its October regional outlook.

The Qatari benchmark dropped 0.4%, hit by a 1.6% fall in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar and a 1% drop in Qatar Islamic Bank.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index advanced 1%, after falling more than 4% in the previous sessions, led by a 1.4% rise in top lender Commercial International Bank .

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Egypt’s net foreign assets (NFAs) deficit fell in March to its lowest in more than two years, apparently helped by a giant sale of property development rights and a reform of the currency, data posted on the CBE website showed.

SAUDI ARABIA rose 0.1% to 12,518

QATAR dropped 0.4% to 9,792

EGYPT gained 1% to 28,623

BAHRAIN eased 0.2% to 2,017

OMAN fell 0.3% to 4,704

KUWAIT added 0.9% to 7,643

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