Most Gulf markets end higher ahead of US Fed rate meeting

ELM -1.50%





Oct 30 (Reuters) - Most stock markets in the Gulf closed higher on Monday as investors were focused on the outlook for interest rates ahead of this week's U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting, overlooking the potential impact of the Israel-Gaza war.

The Federal Reserve meeting, which concludes on Wednesday, is likely to dominate a busy week that has U.S. employment data and earnings from tech heavyweight like Apple Inc AAPL.O on its calendar.

The Fed is widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged, possibly setting the course for stocks and bonds the rest for the year.

The Bank of England and the Bank of Japan will also announce policy decisions in the coming days.

Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually guided by Fed decisions as most regional currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index .TASI gained 0.5%, with digital solutions provider Elm Company 7203.SE advancing 2.3%, a day after reporting a sharp rise in quarterly profit.

The Saudi stock market extended its rebound, thanks to company earnings, said Hani Abuagla, senior market analyst at XTB MENA.

"However, it could come under pressure as caution could dominate ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting."

The Qatari benchmark .QSI finished 1.7% higher, rebounding from its lowest in over three years, with all but one stock closing in positive territory, including Commercial Bank COMB.QA, which jumped 4.5%. Telecoms firm Ooredoo ORDS.QA leapt 4.7%.

Dubai's main share index .DFMGI climbed 1.4%, with toll operator Salik SALIK.DU surging 5.6%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index .FTFADGI added 0.5%.

Israeli troops and tanks attacked Gaza's main northern city from the east and west on Monday, three days after it began ground operations in the Palestinian enclave that have increased international pressure for civilians to be protected.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index .EGX30 closed 1.5% higher, led by an 11.6% surge in tobacco monopoly Eastern Company EAST.CA.


SAUDI ARABIA.TASI rose 0.5% to 10,536
ABU DHABI.FTFADGI up 0.5% to 9,285
DUBAI.DFMGI gained 1.4% to 3,839
QATAR.QSI climbed 1.7% to 9,519
EGYPT.EGX30 up 1.5% to 23,436
BAHRAIN.BAX eased 0.4% to 1,931
OMAN.MSX30 lost 0.2% to 4,543
KUWAIT.BKP advanced 2.1% to 7,047

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Shweta Agarwal)


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