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Major Gulf Bourses Subdued as Oil Prices Slump

Nov 17 (Reuters) - Major stock markets in the Gulf were subdued in early trade on Thursday, as oil prices slumped after concerns over geopolitical tensions eased, while the Saudi index looked poised to post its fourth weekly loss.

Crude prices - a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets - extended the drop, while rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in China added to demand worries in the world's largest crude importer.

Poland and military alliance NATO said on Wednesday a missile which crashed inside NATO member Poland was probably a stray fired by Ukraine's air defences and not a Russian strike, easing fears of the war between Russian and Ukraine spilling across the border.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.2%, hit by a 0.6% drop in Retal Urban Development Co and a 0.8% decrease in Riyad Bank.

Separately, the kingdom has signed investment agreements worth around $30 billion with South Korean companies, Asharq TV quoted the Kingdom's investment minister Khalid Al-Falih as saying on Thursday.

Al Hokair Group jumped more than 6% after the hospitality firm announced the decrease of its accumulated losses to 0%.

Dubai's main share index eased 0.1%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties losing 0.3%.

On Tuesday, a tanker was hit off the coast of Oman sustaining minor damage to the hull with no injuries or spillage of the gas oil cargo, Israeli-controlled Eastern Pacific Shipping said on Wednesday. An Israeli official said Iran was responsible.

n Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.3%.

The Qatari index dropped 1.1% as most of the stocks were trading in negative territory including the Gulf's biggest lender Qatar National Bank, which was down 1.3%.

Qatar Energy set the term price for January 2023 al-Shaheen crude prices at a premium of $2.60 a barrel above Dubai quotes, the lowest level since February, trading sources said on Thursday.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Source: Reuters

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