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Saudi Aramco, Emaar Real Estate and other stocks rise

Most Gulf stocks closed higher on Monday, Aug. 2, after U.S. jobs data boosted expectations that the Federal Reserve would not raise interest rates further.

Data released by the U.S. Labor Department on Friday showed that U.S. job growth slowed to 372,000 in July, below expectations of 390,000 jobs. In addition, productivity growth was also higher than expected, suggesting that the labor market is cooling down.

These data encouraged the market, suggesting that the Federal Reserve may not raise interest rates by 50 basis points in September.

Gulf stocks rise on cooling Fed rate hike expectations

In the Gulf, Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index edged up 0.1%, boosted by a 6.7% rise in Etihad Atheeb Telecom.

Among other rising stocks, oil giant Saudi Aramco gained 0.5% ahead of its earnings report on Tuesday.

Dubai’s main stock index rose 0.7 percent, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties up 1.9 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank up 2.4 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s index closed 0.4 percent higher.

In Qatar, the index rose 1.6 percent, its seventh straight session of gains, with most of its components in positive territory, including Islamic bank Masraf Al Rayan, up 10 percent.

Outside the Gulf region, Egypt’s blue-chip index fell 0.2%, ending two consecutive sessions of gains, with Alexandria Mineral Oil Company down 8.3%.

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