January 8, 2020 / 7:14 AM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks fall after Iranian missile strike

Jan 8 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets retreated on Wednesday after Iran fired missiles at U.S.-led forces in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of an Iranian military commander last week.

Iranian state television said Iran had fired 15 missiles at U.S. targets. The U.S. military said at least two Iraqi facilities hosting U.S.-led coalition personnel were targeted. Iraq said 22 missiles were fired.

Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif called the attack "proportionate measures in self-defense," adding that "we do not seek escalation or war."

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index declined 1.4% with Al Rajhi Bank and Samba Financial Group falling 0.9% and 2.8%, respectively.

State-owned Saudi Aramco fell 0.7% to 34.1 riyals ($9.09).

In Dubai, the index declined 1.4%, dragged down by a 1.9% slide in Emirates NBD and a 2% drop in Emaar Properties.

The Abu Dhabi index lost 0.8% as First Abu Dhabi Bank opened 1.1% down, and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank retreated 1.8%.

The Qatari index eased 0.7% with market heavyweight Industries Qatar shedding 1.2% and Qatar Gas Transport dropping 1.3%. ($1 = 3.7511 riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet)

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