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Sun 8 Mar 2015 12:25 PM

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Stock markets: Gulf bourses neutral to negative after oil's slide

Brent crude slid 1.2 percent to $59.73 a barrel on Friday and posted its biggest weekly loss since January

Stock markets: Gulf bourses neutral to negative after oil's slide
(Getty Images)

Most Gulf stock markets were either down or flat in early trade on Sunday after oil prices and U.S. equities fell on interest rate concerns.

Brent crude slid 1.2 percent to $59.73 a barrel on Friday and posted its biggest weekly loss since January, as a resurgent dollar and fear of a U.S. rate hike diverted attention from the shrinking number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States.

Wall Street also fell on concerns that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as in June following strong US jobs data.

Dubai's stock index dropped 1.2 percent. Builder Arabtec slid 1.4 percent after Egypt's housing minister said on Thursday that talks with the company on its $40 billion residential project were continuing.

Arabtec shares fell 7.9 percent last week as it became clear the $40 billion project was stalled again. The minister said he hoped to reach a final deal on a plan to build a million homes before a March 13-15 investment conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Abu Dhabi was the only gaining market in the region, inching up 0.1 percent thanks to telecommunications firm Etisalat, which rose 1.2 percent.

Etisalat's Saudi Arabian affiliate Mobily jumped its daily 10 percent limit on Thursday on hopes that the company will recover and avoid a debt crisis after its shock earnings restatements.

Qatar's benchmark edged down 0.3 percent as investors continued to sell stocks after had gone ex-dividend. Meanwhile, Qatar Navigation, which will pay its shareholders later this month, jumped 2.5 percent.

Markets in Oman and Kuwait were nearly flat.

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