Mideast Stocks: Gulf stocks gain on global rally; Egypt's shares ease

Almarai buys bakery manufacturer in UAE, Bahrain

Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo July 4, 2013.

Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo July 4, 2013.

REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

Most Gulf markets ended higher on Tuesday, tracking global shares, as investors anticipated the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks meeting this week will keep policies accommodative to help drive a post-pandemic global economic recovery.

MSCI's All Country World Index, which tracks stocks across 49 countries, rose 0.3% to its highest since Feb. 22. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 0.2%, with Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company advancing 5.8%, while Banque Saudi Fransi gained 2.8%.

Elsewhere, Almarai also rose 1%. The Gulf's largest dairy company said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy frozen bakery item producer Bakemart in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for an enterprise value of 93.5 million dirham ($25.46 million). 

Meanwhile, the kingdom's economy shrank 3.9% year on year in the fourth quarter but rose 2.5% from the previous three months, according to data on Tuesday that showed an upturn from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic towards the end of 2020. 

In Dubai, the main share index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 1.3% increase in Emirates NBD Bank.

However, the index's gains were limited by losses at blue-chip developer Emaar Properties .

In previous sessions, Emaar Properties and peers registered sharp gains after the Dubai government on Saturday announced its plan to increase tourism and hotel capacity by 134% over the next 20 years. 

The Abu Dhabi index climbed 0.7%, with telecoms major Etisalat gaining 1.5%.

Qatar's index added 0.5%, extending gains for a third consecutive session, led by a 3% rise in Commercial Bank.

But, Doha Bank retreated over 2% as the stock traded ex-dividend.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index fell 0.3%, weighed down by a 1.5% drop in tobacco monopoly Eastern Company.

Egypt's central bank is likely to leave its overnight interest rates on hold on Thursday, a Reuters poll showed, as inflation remained below target and growth appeared to be picking up. 

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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