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 Major Gulf bourses track oil, Asian shares higher

An investor walks into the Dubai International Financial Market in Dubai, UAE February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Satish Kumar

Major Gulf bourses track oil, Asian shares higher

Dec 16 (Reuters) – Major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Thursday, in line with oil prices and Asian shares, after the U.S. Federal Reserve flagged a long-awaited end to its monetary stimulus next year but delivered an otherwise upbeat economic outlook.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark market (.TASI) gained 0.8%, buoyed by a 1.3% rise in Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) and a 1.9% increase in Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) (2010.SE).

SABIC, the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals company by sales and asset value, proposed a second-half dividend of 2.25 riyals per share.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) edged up 0.1%, with telecoms firm Etisalat (ETISALAT.AD) putting on 1.2%.

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets, rose as the United States implied consumer petroleum demand surged to a record high in the world’s top oil consumer even as the Omicron variant of coronavirus threatens to dent oil consumption globally.

Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) added 0.3%, supported by a 1% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) and a 1.1% increase in Dubai Investments (DINV.DU).

Dubai Investments has made an offer to gain full ownership of National General Insurance Co (NGI) in a deal that values the company at nearly 468 million dirhams ($127.43 million). read more Shares of NGI were up 0.3%.

The Qatari index (.QSI) rose 0.4%, with petrochemical firm Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA) rising 1.3%.

The central bank of Qatar said on Thursday it will start working on a gradual reduction of the measures introduced to support the economy given the recovery from the impact of the coronavirus crisis in the tiny but wealthy Gulf state. read more

The central bank also said the local financial and banking system was stable and domestic liquidity high.

($1 = 3.6727 UAE dirham)Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

This article was originally published by Reuters.

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