DUBAI, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf look set to fall on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates and hinted at the risk of a faster pace of tightening next year, causing global bourses and oil prices to drop.
The central banks of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates followed with their own 25 basis point rate hikes. These were expected but may be negative for property-related shares in particular.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is down 1.2 percent and Brent oil fell back to a low of $53.52 a barrel overnight, down 7.5 percent since hitting an 18-month peak earlier this week.
The negative impact on Dubai may be hardest because of its greater exposure to foreign funds. On Wednesday, the index fell 1.2 percent to 3,584 points, slipping back below major resistance on its August peak of 3,624 points - a negative technical signal. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)