Most Gulf markets rise in early trade; Fed meeting in focus


Riyadh (Reuters) – Most Stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Wednesday, mirroring gains in global peers ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision, as worries on a banking crisis eased.

The markets are awaiting the outcome of the central bank meeting on Wednesday, with most analysts expecting the Fed to raise rate by 25 bps and continue with its fight against inflation.

Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar, while Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar usually mirror U.S. monetary policy changes.

The Qatari Stock index (.QSI) rose 0.7%, with gains in most sectors, led by finance and industry.

The region’s largest bank Qatar National Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank gained 0.6% and 1.5% respectively, while conglomerate Industries Qatar climbed 2.9%.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index (.TASI) rose 0.4%, lifted by gains across all sectors led by finance, materials and energy, with real estate developer Retal Urban adding 0.8% and oil giant Saudi Aramco rising 0.6%.

Shares of Gulf Insurance Group slipped 6.1%, the sharpest intraday fall since May 16, after the insurer reported a 44% decline in a full-year pre-Zakat net profit.

In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark stock index (.FTFADGI) was up 0.2%, aided by a 1.7% gain in Alpha Dhabi Holding and 0.9% rise in First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest lender in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai’s benchmark stock index (.DFMGI) fell 0.3% in early trade, weighed down by losses in finance and communication sectors, with Emaar Properties dropping 0.5% and Dubai Commercial Bank losing 2.1%.

Telecom services provider Emirates Integrated Telecommunications lost 3.1%, the steepest intraday decline since May 12 as it was trading ex-dividend.

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