Stock markets in the Gulf region fell on Sunday, amid warnings of a possible Federal Reserve hike in interest rates and fears of escalating conflict in the Middle East.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Friday that a strong U.S. economy and continued increase in jobs than job seekers may require stricter borrowing conditions to control inflation.
Monetary policy in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is usually guided by the Fed's decisions because the currencies of most of those countries are pegged to the dollar.

The Saudi index continued to decline for the third consecutive session to close down 1.55 after all sectors saw a decline.

The Qatari index continued to fall for the fifth consecutive session to close down 0.9%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index rose 2.3% amid gains for almost all stocks.

Meanwhile, fears of Israel's war on the Gaza Strip escalating into a wider conflict in the Middle East have grown today after the United States sent more military assets to the region as Israel bombed the Strip last night and launched strikes on targets in Lebanon and Syria.

On the 16th day of its all-out war on Gaza, Israel committed new massacres against civilians, especially in the southern Gaza Strip, where 166 Palestinians were killed since dawn on Sunday, while the Qassam Brigades announced that it had caught an Israeli armored force in a tight ambush after crossing the border fence for meters and destroyed a tank and two bulldozers.

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and other Palestinian resistance factions launched on the seventh of October / October Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against the Israeli occupation, killing more than 1400,<> Israelis, and managed to capture large numbers, according to Israeli figures.