Most Gulf bourses rise, Abu Dhabi at record

Traders wait at the Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Aug 11 (Reuters) - Major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Thursday after softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data encouraged bets of less aggressive rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in July compared with June, when they rose a monthly 1.3%. The July result was lower than expectations due to a sharp drop in the cost of petrol, causing markets to reposition on hopes that inflation was peaking. read more

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) surged 1.4% to the highest in six weeks.

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Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) gained 0.8%, with Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) advancing 2.2%, while Saudi Arabian Mining Co (1211.SE) jumped 5%.

The miner reported quarterly net profit of 4.03 billion riyals ($1.07 billion), up from 1.10 billion riyals a year ago.

Elsewhere, oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE), which is scheduled to report its second-quarter earnings, was up 0.6%.

The Saudi Egyptian Investment Co (SEIC), owned by Saudi Arabia's state-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF), has bought minority stakes in four Egyptian companies for $1.3 billion, Egypt's planning ministry said on Wednesday. read more

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) edged 0.1% higher, a day after posting a record close, with the United Arab Emirates biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD).

The Qatari index (.QSI) added 0.7%, with Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA), the Gulf's biggest lender, rising 0.5%.

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) eased 0.1%, hit by a 3.5% fall in Air Arabia (AIRA.DU).

The budget airline reported a higher second-quarter net profit, but saw a decrease sequentially in earnings.

($1 = 3.7585 riyals)

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Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill

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