June 4 (Reuters) – Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Sunday after the U.S. Congress passed a debt ceiling deal that averted a government default in the world’s biggest economy, while jobs data fuelled hopes for a possible pause in Fed rate hikes.
President Joe Biden on Saturday signed a bill that suspends the U.S. government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, averting what would have been a first-ever default with just two days to spare.
Oil prices – a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – rose more than 2% on Friday after the U.S. debt deal and jobs data.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) advanced 1.9%, outperforming the region, buoyed by a 2.5% rise in Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) and a 3.8% increase in Riyad Bank (1010.SE).
Most Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Saudi, have their currencies pegged to the dollar and generally follow the Fed’s policy moves, exposing the region to a direct impact from monetary tightening there.
In Qatar, the index (.QSI) finished 1.8% higher, with almost all the stocks closing in positive territory including Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA), which gained 2.1%.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index (.EGX30) eased 0.4%, hit by a 0.7% fall in top lender Commercial International Bank (COMI.CA).
Saudi Arabia’s Milling Company 3 (MC3) is planning an initial public offering (IPO) next year and has invited banks to pitch for roles in the deal, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.
Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by David Holmes
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