June 20 (Reuters) - Most stock markets in the Gulf fell on Tuesday, as caution set in a day ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's congressional testimony.
Powell is scheduled to deliver congressional testimony on monetary policy on Wednesday and Thursday. Traders are pricing in a nearly 75% chance of a 25-basis points rate hike by the Fed at its July meeting after a pause in June.
Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar and any monetary policy change in the United States is usually mimicked by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index (.TASI) declined 0.4%, with all sectors trading in negative territory. Riyad Bank (1010.SE) fell 1.1% and Banque Saudi Fransi (1050.SE) slid 1.8%. Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE), the world's largest Islamic bank by assets, lost 1%.
Dubai's benchmark stock index (.DFMGI) dropped 0.3%, weighed down by losses in the finance and utilities sectors. Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) fell 1.5% and Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU) shed 0.7%. The emirate's largest lender, Emirates NBD (ENBD.DU), slipped 1.3%.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark stock index (.FTFADGI) lost 0.3%, weighed down by a 1.3% loss in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB.AD) and 2% drop in Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB.AD). The United Arab Emirates' biggest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD), slipped 1%.
In Qatar, the benchmark stock index (.QSI) rose 0.4%, with all sectors trading in positive territory. Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA) and Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB.QA) gained 1.7% and 0.4%, respectively.
Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu
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