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Gulf bourses drop ahead of US inflation data; Egypt extends losses

1 min

Stock markets in the Gulf declined on Thursday, as investors awaited key inflation data due on Friday to assess the likely path of interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The crucial February reading of the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, is due on Friday © Mena Today 

Stock markets in the Gulf declined on Thursday, as investors awaited key inflation data due on Friday to assess the likely path of interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.3% with most sectors in the red and logged a 2.1% loss for the week.

Al Rajhi Bank, the world's largest Islamic lender, slipped 1.4% and Saudi Research and Media Group slumped 10%, the steepest drop in more than six years after the media firm posted a 15.9% decrease in annual net profit.

However, Saudi National Bank climbed 4.9%, the sharpest rise since early January, after the kingdom's largest lender has appointed a new chief executive in place of the acting CEO.

The Qatari benchmark index was down 0.1%, weighed down by losses in energy, finance, real estate and industry sectors with Qatar Navigation sliding 2.3% and Qatar International Islamic Bank dropping 1.4%.

In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index slid for a fourth straight session and ended 0.1% lower, with Aldar Properties sliding 1.1% and First Abu Dhabi Bank, the UAE's largest lender, falling 0.6%.

Dubai's benchmark index was little changed as Commercial Bank of Dubai gained 4.4% and Dubai Financial Market added 3.5%.

The crucial February reading of the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, is due on Friday.

A hot reading for the PCE index could dent market optimism around early rate cuts.

By Md Manzer Hussain

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