Qatar leads Gulf bourses higher on hopes of Fed rate pause

A trader walks out of Bahrain Bourse  in Manama
A trader walks out of Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

March 26 (Reuters) - Qatar's stock market closed higher on Sunday, outperforming other bourses in the Gulf region, as expectations of a pause in rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve lifted investor sentiment.

The Fed raised its main interest rate by a quarter point on Wednesday, but signaled it would consider a pause in light of banking system stresses.

Most Gulf central banks lifted their rates by a quarter percentage point on Wednesday, mirroring the Fed's rate hike as their currencies are largely pegged to the dollar.

The Qatari Stock index (.QSI) climbed 1.2%, extending its rally to a third straight session. The index recorded an advance in all sectors, with the Gulf's biggest lender Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA) rising 3.1% and Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA) adding 2.7%.

Among other gainers, Ooredoo (ORDS.QA) and Qatar Fuel (QFLS.QA) rose 2.7% and 1.7% respectively.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) rose 0.1%, supported by gains in materials and communications sectors stocks.

Shares in Mobile Telecommunications (7030.SE) shot up 9.8%, its sharpest intraday rise since October 2020, after the telecom services provider reported a more than 157% jump in full- year net profit.

Steel pipes maker Arabian Pipes (2200.SE) soared 9.5%, its highest daily rise since Nov. 10, 2021, after it posted a full- year net profit of 8.9 million riyals, compared with a loss of 60.1 million a year earlier.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) climbed 2.3%, extending its previous session gains.

The index was lifted up by a 15.1% jump in Sidi Kerir (SKPC.CA) and a 7% rise in Fawry Banking (FWRY.CA).

Among other gainers, Alexandria Mineral Oils (AMOC.CA) and Eastern Co (EAST.CA) jumped 9.8% and 3.9% respectively.

Eastern, a manufacturer of tobacco products, announced on Sunday a revision in prices of its products.

Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; Editing by David Holmes

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.