Gulf stock markets may consolidate with firm tone as global equities rise

Emaar the Economic City could extend gains following reports of new investments in King Abdullah Economic City

  
Investors watch a monitor at Dubai Financial Market April 27, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes.

Investors watch a monitor at Dubai Financial Market April 27, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Mounir Saidi
DUBAI, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets may consolidate with a firm tone on Monday because of a surge in emerging market equities, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside .MIAPJ0000PUS up 1.5 percent in early trade. 

A purchasing managers' survey showing growth in Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector hit a 12-month high in August, suggesting the economy may be stabilising after a sharp slowdown driven by low oil prices and government austerity measures, may also help sentiment. 

However, there are few other positive factors for the Gulf and oil prices have slipped back again, with Brent crude LCOc1 down 0.6 percent at $46.55 a barrel, so sharp gains in regional stocks still look unlikely.

The Saudi stock index .TASI climbed 1.3 percent on Sunday in a broad-based rise but trading volume shrank from the previous session, which was a negative technical sign. 

Emaar the Economic City (EEC) 4220.SE could extend gains after rising 3.5 percent on Sunday, when Reuters quoted a source familiar with the matter as saying Saudi Arabia's top sovereign fund, the Public Investment Fund, was in talks to invest in King Abdullah Economic City, the huge project being developed by EEC. 

Middle East Healthcare Co 4009.SE may be buoyed by its announcement that Saudi tax authorities have agreed to its request for a 13.6 million riyal ($3.6 million) tax credit.

(Editing by Andrew Torchia) ((celine.aswad@thomsonreuters.com; +971 4 4536886; Reuters Messaging: celine.aswad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))