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Most Gulf bourses in black as investors absorb Fed minutes

The Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue in Washington Reuters/Leah Millis
The Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue in Washington
  • Most bourses enjoyed a respite from their recent sell-off
  • Dubai index advanced 1.5%, as Emaar Properties jumped 5.1%
  • Qatar added 0.2%, despite Gulf’s biggest bank, QNB, dropping 1.5%

Most bourses in the Gulf rebounded on Thursday, enjoying a respite from their recent sell-off, as investors digest the U.S. Federal Reserve’s firm hawkish stance on taming inflationary pressures.

The Fed’s June meeting minutes showed officials rallied around an outsized rate hike, justifying the 0.75-percentage-point increase as near-term inflation outlook had deteriorated since their meeting in May.

Dubai’s benchmark index advanced 1.5 percent, buoyed by a 5.1 percent jump in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.5 percent gain in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.

The Dubai bourse rebounded after a series of price corrections as traders reacted to a global sentiment shift after Wednesday’s Federal Reserve minutes, said Farah Mourad, senior market analyst of XTB MENA.

“The market could see further price increases over the short term before returning to the downside.”

Dubai road-toll operator Salik has appointed Ibrahim Al Haddad as chief executive officer, it said on Wednesday, in a move that showed the company was moving closer to its planned flotation.

Dubai’s deputy ruler, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed, announced plans in November to turn Salik, then a division of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), into a public company. Listing it and nine other government-linked entities was intended to boost stock market activity.

The Qatari benchmark added 0.2 percent, helped by a 2.3 percent rise in Commercial Bank.

On the other hand, Qatar National Bank (QNB), the Gulf’s largest lender by assets, fell 1.5 percent, despite reporting a 12.3 percent increase in second-quarter profit.

In Abu Dhabi, the equities fell 0.3 percent, hit by a 1.4 percent fall in the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Egypt’s blue-chip index gained 1 percent, led by a 2.3 percent gain in top lender Commercial International Bank.

The index is down more than 25 percent so far this year, having tumbled 3.6 percent to 8,642 on Monday, its lowest since November 2016.

Egypt has come under financial pressure because of a sharp slide in foreign portfolio investor holdings and rising costs for key commodity imports, especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Headline inflation accelerated to 13.5 percent in May.

** Saudi Arabia was closed for a public holiday.

ABU DHABI down 0.3 percent to 9,223

DUBAI gained 1.5 percent to 3,109

QATAR rose 0.2 percent to 12,085

EGYPT added 1 percent to 8,764

BAHRAIN firmed 0.2 percent to 1,872

OMAN lost 0.1 percent to 4,119

KUWAIT was flat at 8,225