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Most Gulf Bourses in Red on Falling Oil Prices

Nov 10 (Reuters) - Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Thursday as oil prices fell and caution prevailed ahead of U.S. inflation data that will influence the Federal Reserve's rate plans.

Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, extended losses for a fourth consecutive session as renewed COVID-19 curbs in China raised concern about fuel demand in the world's biggest crude importer.

The market came under pressure on Wednesday from a big rise in U.S. crude inventories. They rose by 3.9 million barrels, taking inventories to their highest since July 2021.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index dropped 1.7%, falling for a third session, weighed down by a 4% slide in Saudi National Bank.

The index posted its third weekly loss of 2%, and with Thursday's fall the index wiped off its year-to-gains and slipped into negative territory.

Among other losers, Saudi Electricity Co slid 4.4% following a decline in quarterly earnings.

The kingdom's Public Investment Fund is selling a 10% stake in Saudi Tadawul Group, the owner and operator of the kingdom's stock exchange, via an accelerated bookbuild offering, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday. 

In Qatar, the index fell 0.8%, as most of the stocks on the index were in negative territory including the Gulf's biggest lender Qatar National Bank, which was down 1.8%.

Traders move to secure their gains as natural gas prices continue to decline and the market could remain weighed by the performance in energy markets overall, said Robert Woolfe, COO at Emporium Capital.

Dubai's main share index ended flat.

Central banks in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar follow the Fed moves, cutting their rates by the same margin. Their currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar and they follow the Fed on interest rate moves.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index eased 0.2%, hit by 4.7% slide in Commercial International Bank.

Egypt's annual urban consumer inflation accelerated faster than expected in October, climbing to a four-year high of 16.2%, data from the statistics agency CAPMAS showed on Thursday.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru

Source: Reuters

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