Gulf bourses end mixed; Egypt extends decline

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MIDEAST-STOCKS-Gulf bourses end mixed; Egypt extends decline

By Md Manzer Hussain

April 28 (Reuters)Stock markets in the Gulf put in a mixed performance on Sunday amid rising oil prices and receding hopes of rapid interest rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve after a series of inflation readings.

The oil price – a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets- settled higher on Friday, drawing support from tensions in the Middle East.

The Qatari benchmark index .QSI was up after a two straight sessions of losses and ended 0.3% higher with all sectors in positive territory.

Qatar Islamic Bank QISB.QA and Masraf Al Rayan MARK.QA gained 0.9% and 0.7%, respectively, while Industries Qatar IQCD.QA added 0.3%.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index .TASI was down for a fifth straight session and shed 0.2%, with almost all sectors in the red. ACWA Power 2082.SE fell 5.7% and Middle East Pharmaceutical Industries 4016.SE, slid 2.1%.

However, Arab National Bank 1080.SE advanced 1.9% after the lender reported a 15.7% rise in quarterly net profit.

U.S. monthly inflation rose moderately in March, but stubbornly higher costs for housing and utilities suggested the Federal Reserve could keep interest rates elevated for a while.

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

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index .EGX30 extended its decline to a fourth straight session and lost 4.9% to 24,640, its lowest level in four months.

Talaat Mostafa Group TMGH.CA and Egypt Kuwait Holding EKHO.CA slumped 9.7% and 6.9% respectively, while Commercial International Bank COMI.CA dropped 4.8%.

Meanwhile, Egypt has committed to addressing its recourse to central bank overdraft facilities and off-budget public sector activity, practices that have contributed to pressure on the currency and the exchange rate, the IMF said on Friday.


.TASI down 0.2% to 12,232


.BKP lost 0.1% to 7,654


.QSI rose 0.3% to 9,667


.EGX30 dropped 4.9% to 24,640


.BAX added 0.4% to 2,024


.MSX30 gained 1% to 4,761

Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain
Editing by Ros Russell

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