Most Gulf markets end lower, Egypt ekes out gains
May 28 (Reuters) -Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Sunday as investors focus in on the prospects of more Federal Reserve interest rate hikes as the U.S. closes in on a deal to raise its debt ceiling.
Most Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Saudi, have their currencies pegged to the dollar and generally follow the Fed's policy moves, exposing the region relatively directly to any monetary tightening there.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index .TASI lost 0.4%, with Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE declining 1% and Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services 4013.SE finishing 1.4% lower.
However, oil giant Saudi Aramco 2222.SE added 0.2%.
Prices of oil - a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets - ticked up on Friday as U.S. officials appeared close to striking a debt-ceiling deal, and as the market weighed conflicting messages about oil supply from Russia and Saudi Arabia ahead of the next OPEC+ policy meeting.
In Qatar, the index .QSI eased 0.3%, hit by a 2.6% slide in telecoms firm Ooredoo ORDS.QA.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index .EGX30 gained 0.5%, led by an 11.3% jump in Edita Food Industries EFID.CA.
On the other hand, Egypt has deferred payments for its large wheat purchases, in some cases by months, according to a government official and traders, as the country grapples with a shortage of hard currency.
Egypt is one of the world's biggest wheat importers and uses the purchases to make heavily subsidised bread available to tens of millions of people. Any changes to its system of subsidies are politically very sensitive.
.TASI fell 0.4% to 11,138
.QSI dropped 0.3% to 10,426
.EGX30 rose 0.5% to 17,131
.BAX eased 0.1% to 1,961
.MSX30 lost 0.2% to 4,630
.BKP added 0.6% to 7,508
Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson
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