Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf markets track oil prices lower

Major stock markets in the Gulf fell in early trade on Monday, tracking oil prices lower.

Oil prices – a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – slipped, with Brent falling toward $80 a barrel, as investors awaited the OPEC+ meeting later this week for an agreement to curb supplies into 2024.

Prices tumbled in the middle of last week after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, including Russia, known as OPEC+, postponed a ministerial meeting to Nov. 30 to iron out differences in production targets for African producers.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell 0.2%, with oil behemoth Saudi Aramco losing 0.3% and a 0.7% decrease in auto rental firm Lumi.

In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.3%.

Dubai’s main share index lost 0.2%, weighed down by a 1.4% fall in top lender Emirates NBD.

However, the United Arab Emirates is set to ramp up exports of flagship Murban crude early next year as a new OPEC+ mandate kicks in and barrels are diverted to the international market owing to refinery maintenance, according to traders and Reuters data.

The Qatari benchmark retreated 1%, on course to extend losses for a third session, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar.

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