DUBAI: Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates ended higher on Friday on speculation the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its monetary policy tightening cycle.

Investors were betting that the Fed would only raise rates one more time in its rate-hiking campaign, after US producer price data and labour market data on Thursday pointed to inflation cooling. This came after CPI data on Wednesday showed a small rise in US consumer prices in March.

Most Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including the United Arab Emirates, have their currencies pegged to the US dollar and follow the Fed’s policy moves closely, exposing the region to a direct impact from monetary tightening in the world’s largest economy.

Dubai’s benchmark index gained 0.1%, helped by a 0.8% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

The index posted its fourth weekly gain of 2.4%, its biggest weekly gain since September.

However, the index’s losses were limited by a 1.7% slide in Salik as the toll operator traded ex-dividend. In Abu Dhabi, the index finished 0.7% higher, with conglomerate International Holding advancing 0.8%.

Oil prices - a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets - rose after the West’s energy watchdog said it expected global demand to rise to a record high this year on the back of a recovery in Chinese consumption.


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