Nov 6 (Reuters) – Most major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Monday after softer-than-expected U.S. jobs data reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will not hike interest rates further.
Most Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including the UAE, peg their currencies to the US dollar and follow the Fed’s policy moves closely.
US job growth slowed in October in part as auto union strikes depressed manufacturing payrolls; the increase in annual wages was the smallest in nearly 2-1/2 years.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index added 0.1%, helped by 1.3% rise in Lumi Rental Co.
However, oil giant Saudi Aramco eased 0.2%, ahead of earnings announcement on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia confirmed it would continue with its additional voluntary cut of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in December to keep output at around 9 million bpd, a source at the ministry of energy said in a statement. The Saudi decision was in line with analysts’ expectations.
Dubai’s main share index gained 0.5%, with sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank advancing 1.2%.
In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.3%.
Oil prices – a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – edged up as top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia said they would stick to extra voluntary oil output cuts until the end of the year, keeping supply tight, while investors watched out for tougher US sanctions on Iranian oil.
The Qatari benchmark increased 0.6%, driven by a 6.1% jump in Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum)