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Major Gulf markets mixed ahead of US inflation data

1 min

Major stock markets in the Gulf diverged on Tuesday as investors awaited U.S. inflation data for clues on the timing of interest rate cuts.

Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually guided by Fed policy © Mena Today 

Major stock markets in the Gulf diverged on Tuesday as investors awaited U.S. inflation data for clues on the timing of interest rate cuts.

Data on Friday showed U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in December, dousing expectations of a rapid easing of interest rates and leading market participants to shift attention to U.S. inflation data due on Thursday for more clarity on the trajectory of borrowing costs.

Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually guided by Fed policy because most regional currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) lost 0.4%, hit by a 3.7% fall for Etihad Atheeb Telecommunication (7040.SE) while oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) gained 0.6%.

Saudi Arabia National Debt Management Centre completed the first issuance of U.S. dollar international bonds in 2024, worth $12 billion, it said in a statement. The $12 billion was via a triple-tranche offering.

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) gained 0.7%, led by a 1% rise for blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) and a 1.6% gain for Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWAA.DU).

The Dubai stock market continued to climb in small increments. The market could encounter resistance near current levels, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss, adding that strong local fundamentals could offer market support.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) closed 0.6% up.

The Qatari benchmark (.QSI) fell 0.6%, with Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA) down 1.3% and Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA) declining by 0.9%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) edged up by 0.1%, with Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemical Industries (ABUK.CA) jumping 3.3%.

Egypt's inflation rate probably fell for a third straight month in December on lower food prices but could rebound in coming months after recent government price increases and a possible currency devaluation, a Reuters poll showed on Monday.

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