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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Middle East stocks-Dubai, Abu Dhabi end higher on Fed rate cheer


By Ateeq Shariff (Reuters) – United Arab Emirates shares ended higher on Friday on expectations that the Federal Reserve is coming to an end to its interest rate hike cycle. The Fed left rates unchanged on Wednesday but suggested in new forecasts that borrowing costs may still need to rise by as much as half a percentage point by the end of the year as the central bank responds to stronger-than-expected policy and a slowing economy and inflation. Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar, and any monetary policy changes in the U.S. are usually followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Dubai’s main stock index rose 1.5%, boosted by a 4.6% rise in shares of Emaar Properties after the blue-chip developer unveiled ‘The Oasis’, a $20 billion lifestyle destination with 7,000 residences at the Burj Khalifa extravaganza unit. Among other gainers, toll operator Salik was up 3.9 percent. The Dubai index rose 2.5% for the third straight week. In Abu Dhabi, the index ended 0.7% higher, with Multiply Group up 0.6%. The index posted its first weekly gain of 0.8% in seven weeks. Ahmed Negm, head of market research for the Middle East and North Africa at XS.com, said Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange had recovered from this month’s lows but still faced some uncertainty. “Markets are likely to continue to react to developments in the oil market, not least because expectations remain somewhat volatile.” Abu Dhabi up 0.6% to 9,447 Dubai up 1.5% to 3,789 (Reported by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Edited by Shailesh Kuber )


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