Major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Tuesday, ahead of a key U.S. inflation report that could help shape the Federal Reserve’s rates outlook.
Investor attention this week will be on crucial reports on January’s U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI), due later in the day, and the Producer Price Index, scheduled to be released on Friday.
Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council is usually guided by Fed policy because most regional currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 0.4%, driven by a 1.5% rise in Al Rajhi Bank and a 1.2% increase in the country’s biggest lender Saudi National Bank.
Elsewhere, oil behemoth Saudi Aramco advanced 1%.
Aramco has started trading a U.S. crude oil grade that underpins the global Brent benchmark in a process run by oil-index publisher S&P Global Commodity Insights, the publisher said on Monday.
Most Gulf markets in black on Fed rate cut bets
In Abu Dhabi, the index inched 0.1% higher, on course to snap two sessions of losses.
Oil prices – a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – rose slightly on fears Middle East tensions could disrupt supply, but uncertainty about the pace of potential U.S. interest rate cuts and the ensuing impact on fuel demand capped gains.
Dubai’s main share index gained 0.3%, with Mashreqbank rising 2.8%.
The Qatari benchmark increased 0.5%, led by an 8.3% jump in Qatar Gas Transport (Nakilat), on track to rise for a third consecutive session.
On Saturday, QatarEnergy said it has selected Qatar Gas Transport to be the owner and operator of up to 25 conventional-size LNG carriers.