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Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Wednesday largely on the back of corporate earnings, although the gains were limited ahead of the Federal Reserve meet.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index finished 0.2% higher in a choppy trade, with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 1.5%.

The Saudi stock market stabilized to a certain extent but remained on a positive trend overall, said Ahmed Negm, head of market research MENA at XS.com.

“While the main index could be impacted by the volatility in oil prices as well as the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s meeting, strong local fundamentals could help keep the market on a positive course.”

Oil prices slipped with investors cautious ahead of an expected Fed rate hike later in the day and a possible increase in U.S. crude supplies.

Dubai’s main share index advanced 0.6%, led by a 14.9% jump in Gulf Navigation.

Most Gulf markets gain on oil, corporate earnings

Mashreq Bank, which was flat, post trading hours reported quarterly net profit of 1.91 billion dirhams ($520.03 million), up from 796.4 million dirhams a year ago.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.4%.

National Marine Dredging closed 1.8% higher, after posting a sharp rise in second-quarter earnings.

The Qatari index climbed 2.2%, as most of its constituents were in the positive territory including Qatar International Islamic Bank, which was up 2.4%.

The sharia-compliant lender reported first-half net profit of 615.1 million riyals compared with 571.1 million riyals a year ago.

Elsewhere, Vodafone Qatar increased 1.1% following a rise in first-half earnings.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index dropped 0.5%.

Trading on the Egyptian stock market remained dim with limited performance and narrow volumes. The main index could be exposed to the downside if trading conditions do not improve, said Negm.

=======================================
 SAUDI ARABIA    rose 0.2% to 11,906
 ABU DHABI       up 0.4% to 9,766
 DUBAI           added 0.6% to 4,039
 QATAR           gained 2.2% to 10,765
 EGYPT           lost 0.5% to 17,396
 BAHRAIN         eased 0.2% to 1,985
 OMAN            down 0.3% to 4,767
 KUWAIT          was flat at 8,105
=======================================

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