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Major Gulf Markets Track Asian Shares Lower

Dec 5 (Reuters) - Major stock markets in the Gulf fell in early trade on Tuesday, tracking declines in Asian shares as investors tempered expectations for cuts to U.S. interest rates as they awaited U.S. jobs data.

U.S. job openings data is due at 1530 GMT, and broader hiring figures, which had last month showed signs of a slowing jobs market, will be published on Friday.

Most Gulf Cooperation Council countries have their currencies pegged to the U.S. dollar and closely follow the Federal Reserve's policy, exposing the region to a direct impact from monetary tightening in the world's largest economy.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged down 0.1%, with oil behemoth Saudi Aramco losing 0.2% and Alinma Bank declining 0.7%.

Oil prices - a catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets - were little changed amid uncertainty over voluntary output cuts by OPEC+, continued tensions in the Middle East and weak economic data from the U.S.

Abu Dhabi's benchmark index dropped 0.4%.

Among individual stocks, however, cryptocurrency powerhouse Phoenix Group debuted at 50% above its listing price with 907 million shares available for trading.

Shares traded at 2.25 dirhams per share as the Abu Dhabi market opened, against an offer price 1.50 dirhams.

Dubai's main share index declined 0.6%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties losing 1.6% and toll operator Salik down 2.5%.

The Qatari benchmark decreased 0.5%, hit by a 1.2% fall in Qatar Islamic Bank.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K

Source: Reuters

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