Most Gulf markets gain ahead of US economic data

Electronic boards showing stock market information at the Dubai Stock Exchange, United Arab Emirates, November 5, 2020. REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi/File photo Acquisition of licensing rights

Oct 24 (Reuters) – Most major Gulf exchanges traded higher on Tuesday as economic data is expected to provide guidance to the U.S. Federal Reserve on its next steps, although deepening conflict in the region weighs on sentiment.

The U.S. Department of Commerce will report third-quarter gross domestic product on Thursday, while the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) report, the U.S. central bank’s preferred measure of inflation, will be released on Friday.

Monetary policy at the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council usually relies on Fed policy decisions because most regional currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) rose 0.5%, trading for four sessions of losses, with Elm Company (7203.SE) gaining 2.4% and Etihad Atheeb Telecommunications (7040.SE) gaining 1.4 %.

The National Bank of Saudi Arabia (1180.SE) added 1% after reporting a 6% increase in third-quarter net profit from a year earlier.

However, Riyal Investment & Development Co (9584.SE) fell as much as 28% in its debut on the parallel market.

Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) gained 0.8% and Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corp (EMPOWER.DU) rose 5.5%.

The Abu Dhabi Index (.FTFADGI) rose 0.2%.

Oil prices, which drive the Gulf economy, recovered some of the previous day’s losses as markets feared the Israel-Hamas war could escalate into a wider conflict in the oil-exporting region.

In Qatar, the index (.QSI) lost 1.2%, while almost all of its components were in the red, including Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA), which fell 2.1%.

Elsewhere in petrochemicals, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Co (MPHC.QA) fell 4.6% to its lowest level in more than three years after a sharp decline in nine-month net profit.

Israel struck hundreds of targets in Gaza from the air on Monday as its soldiers battled Hamas fighters in airstrikes in the besieged Palestinian zone, where the death toll is soaring and civilians are trapped in horrific conditions.

Oman OQ Gas Networks (OQGN.OM), the pipelines division of state oil giant OQ, rose 14% on its debut.

Reports by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Edited by: Shilpi Majumdar

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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