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Stock markets in the Gulf end mixed ahead of earnings season

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Stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Monday ahead of the usual flurry of quarterly and full-year corporate results, with the Saudi index snapping a five-session losing streak.

The kingdom's annual inflation rate eased to 1.5% in December © Mena Today 

Stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Monday ahead of the usual flurry of quarterly and full-year corporate results, with the Saudi index snapping a five-session losing streak.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) gained 0.5%, with Elm Co (7203.SE) gaining 1.6% and Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) climbing 1.9%.

The kingdom's annual inflation rate eased to 1.5% in December, from 1.7% the previous month, government data showed on Monday, driven by housing rent increases.

Inflation remained relatively low in Saudi Arabia last year compared to global levels, with government policies limiting the impact of international price increases.

However, oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) slipped 1.4%.

Oil prices - which fuel the Gulf's economy - dipped as the Middle East conflict's limited impact on crude output prompted profit taking after oil benchmarks gained 2% last week.

Several tanker owners steered clear of the Red Sea and multiple tankers changed course on Friday after U.S. and Britain launched strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen after the Iran-backed group's attacks on shipping in response to Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza.

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) eased 0.1%, hit by a 1% fall blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) and a 0.9% decrease in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU).

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) fell 0.1%.

On Sunday the Houthi militia threatened a "strong and effective response" after the United States carried out another strike overnight. The U.S. later said it shot down a missile fired at one of its ships from Yemen.

The Qatari benchmark (.QSI) gained 0.2%, with Islamic bank Masraf Al Rayan (MARK.QA) advancing 2.3%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) rose 1.1%, led by a 1.9% gain in Commercial International Bank (COMI.CA).

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