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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may stay range-bound, awaiting Trump economic agenda
February 28, 2017 / 5:55 AM / 9 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may stay range-bound, awaiting Trump economic agenda

DUBAI, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Shares in the Gulf may move sideways on Tuesday as investors around the world await a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump to Congress later in the day, in which Trump is expected to lay out some of his major economic plans.

Global markets provide little direction; MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is up 0.2 percent and Brent crude oil 0.4 percent higher at $56.14 a barrel.

Gulf investors will be watching in particular for Trump’s policies toward the energy industry, which could be the main way in which the Gulf is affected, and for anything that could increase the chances a U.S. interest rate hike in March.

A rate hike could boost bank shares by expanding banks’ interest rate margins while hurting real estate and construction.

Over the last several days stock markets in the Gulf have been trading in narrow ranges. Saudi Arabia’s index, last at 6,969 points, has minor technical support at the February low of 6,942 points; any break would trigger a minor double top formed by the February and late January peaks and pointing down to around 6,750 points. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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