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MIDEAST STOCKS-Positive economic data, oil may buoy Saudi; Industries Qatar Q4 weak
February 5, 2017 / 5:54 AM / 10 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Positive economic data, oil may buoy Saudi; Industries Qatar Q4 weak

DUBAI, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Positive economic data and firm oil prices may buoy Saudi Arabia’s stock market on Sunday, but a fourth-quarter earnings miss by Industries Qatar could dampen that market.

Growth in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector accelerated to its fastest rate for 17 months in January as the government injected cash into the economy after a long period of austerity, a purchasing managers’ index based on a survey of companies showed on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Brent oil futures added 0.42 percent to $56.81 a barrel on Friday, rising more than 2 percent for the week partly because of geopolitical tensions with Iran. MSCI’s all-world stock index gained 0.56 percent to finish the week marginally higher.

In Qatar, however, petrochemical and metals giant Industries Qatar reported a fourth-quarter net profit of about 230 million riyals ($63.2 million), according to Reuters calculations based on its financial statements, well below an average of 903 million riyals forecast by three analysts. It cut its proposed annual dividend to 4 riyals from 5 riyals. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia)

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