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Gulf markets gain as US debt deal spurs optimism

Agencies . Dubai
31 May 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 31 May 2023 00:09:28
Gulf markets gain as US debt deal spurs optimism

Major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Tuesday as investors cheered the prospect of the world’s largest economy averting a major debt default.

A weekend deal to lift the $31.4 trillion debt limit announced by the White House and House Republicans would avert a catastrophic US default and boost overall appetite for risk, reported Reuters.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) gained 0.6%, with Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services (4013.SE) climbing 1.2% and Riyad Bank (1010.SE) advancing 1.5%.

Separately, Saudi Arabia’s First Milling Company said on Tuesday it aimed to raise 999 million riyals ($266.39 million) from its initial public offering after it set the share price at the top end of a previously announced range.

The company was the first of several flour milling privatizations in Saudi Arabia, sold to Raha AlSafi consortium for $540 million in 2020.

Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) added 0.2%, helped by a 2.1% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) and a 1.7% increase in toll-operator Salik Co (SALIK.DU).

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) rose 0.7%. The Qatari benchmark (.QSI) edged 0.1% higher in a choppy trade, with Vodafone Qatar (VFQS.QA) adding 0.1%.

Meanwhile, crude - a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets - fell, giving up earlier gains as concerns about the viability of the U.S. debt ceiling pact cooled investors’ risk-on sentiment and mixed messages from major producers clouded the supply outlook ahead of their meeting this weekend.