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Most major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Thursday after US inflation and economic data boosted hopes that the Federal Reserve may have fewer interest rate hikes in store, although the Saudi index bucked the trend.

Most Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and 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 main share index advanced 0.7%, at its highest in eight years, led by a 1.1% rise in utility firm Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

Most Gulf markets in black ahead of US inflation data; Egypt eases

Among other gainers, Commercial Bank of Dubai advanced 3.9%, after reporting a sharp rise in second-quarter earnings. In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.1%.

The Qatari benchmark increased 0.7%, with most of the constituents on the index trading in positive territory including petrochemical maker Industries Qatar.

Oil prices - which fuel the economy in Gulf - climbed after US inflation cooled and Chinese trade figures showed monthly oil imports were the second-highest on record in June. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index, however, bucked the trend to trade 0.1% lower.

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