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Thursday, 23 February 2017

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bank shares main drag on Gulf bourses on Fed minutes, range-bound oil | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bank shares main drag on Gulf bourses on Fed minutes, range-bound oil | Reuters:

"Bank shares were the main drag on most stock markets in the Gulf on Thursday on a lack of direction from the minutes of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that showed little support for a March rate rise and as oil traded in a range around $56.40 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia's index edged 0.3 percent lower after an hour of trade with half of the listed lenders declining. Saudi British Bank lost 1.3 percent and National Commercial Bank fell 0.7 percent.

Bank sector analysts expect a rising interest rate environment in 2017 would bode well for lenders in the region, boosting their net interest margins, although lower rates and easing liquidity concerns may encourage the private sector to borrow more."



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