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Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Wednesday, as traders awaited a crucial U.S. inflation reading to determine whether the Federal reserve is at the end of its rate hike cycle.

Most Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have their currencies pegged to the U.S. 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.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index rose 0.5%, extending gains from the previous session, led by a 5.2% jump in Banque Saudi Fransi.

The kingdom has signed a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Saudi state news agency reported on Wednesday.

The Saudi bourse extended gains thanks to strong local fundamentals. The recent rebound in oil prices could also contribute to improving traders’ expectations, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss.

“At the same, the market could continue to see some downside risks with the possibility of price corrections if traders move to secure their gains.”

Dubai leads most Gulf markets higher; Qatar falls

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.3%.

The Qatari benchmark index gained 0.4%, as most of its constituents were in the positive territory including petrochemical maker Industries Qatar, which was up 2.1%.

Dubai’s main share index gave up early gains to end flat.

Dubai residential property prices in the year to June 30 rose at their fastest pace in almost a decade, climbing by 16.9%, while average rents jumped by 22.8%, property consultancy CBRE said on Tuesday.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index eased 0.1%, hit by a 3.2% fall in Misr Fertilizers Production Co.

The Egyptian stock market remained at risk with global traders maintaining their selling spree, said Takieddine. With attention turning to the U.S., volatility could be significant in the coming trading session.

=======================================
 SAUDI ARABIA     rose 0.5% to 11,727
 ABU DHABI        up 0.3% to 9,622
 DUBAI            was flat at 3,987
 QATAR            gained 0.4% to 10,123
 EGYPT            lost 0.1% to 17,144
 BAHRAIN          was up 0.5% to 1,970
 OMAN             ended flat at 4,801
 KUWAIT           added 0.3% to 8,126
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