MIDEAST STOCKS: Asian shares decline as major Gulf markets track them

Major Gulf stock markets experienced early trading losses on Wednesday, following the decline in Asian shares as investors’ initial excitement over the possibility of an end to U.S. interest rate hikes subsided.

All while the minutes of the Oct. 31–Nov. first meeting revealed on Tuesday that U.S. Federal Reserve officials decided at their most recent policy meeting to move “carefully” and only raise interest rates if progress in reining in inflation faltered.

Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually directed by the decisions of the U.S. Federal Reserve as most regional currencies are fixed to the dollar.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index, TASI dropped 0.1 percent, with the country’s biggest lender Saudi National Bank 1180.SE losing 1.2 percent.

Individually, Saudi Arabian state-owned media giant MBC Group’s planned initial public offering (IPO) was approved by the kingdom’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) on Tuesday.

The Qatari index, QSI lost 0.3 percent, weighed by a 0.7 percent drop in the Gulf’s biggest lender, Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA.

Dubai’s main share index, DFMGI slowed 0.1 percent, with Al Ansari Financial Services ALANSARI.DU declined 1.8 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index, FTFADGI fell back 0.3 percent.

The United Arab Emirates will hopefully be removed from a so-called “grey list” of countries under special inspection by the international FATF financial crime watchdog early next year, state minister for trade, Thani Al Zeyoudi, said on Tuesday.

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