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DUBAI: Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Tuesday, tracking a rise in global shares as traders held onto hope that interest rates will soon peak and fall later this year.

The Saudi bourse, however, extended losses on profit taking.

Dubai’s main share index advanced 1%, buoyed by a 1.1% rise in top lender Emirates NBD and a 1.2% increase in Dubai Electricity and Water Authority following shareholder approval to distribute a one-time special dividend of 3.34 fils per share.

The publication of improving business conditions figures in Dubai boosted the stock market. The local economy continued to progress month over month, providing suitable conditions for local stocks to thrive, said Farah Mourad, senior market analyst at XTB MENA.

“As a result, the main index could test this year’s peak and could record new highs.”

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.1%. The Qatari index was up 0.4%, with Qatar Islamic Bank rising 1%. Oil prices - a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets - steadied as Chinese inflation data pointed to persistently weak demand, but a softer dollar and hopes that the Federal Reserve might ease up on its policy tightening after a key US inflation report this week provided support.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index dropped 0.5%, weighed down by a 0.8% decrease in Retal Urban Development Co and a 1.2% decline in Al Rajhi Bank.

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