DUBAI Feb 5 Positive economic data and firm oil
prices may buoy Saudi Arabia's stock market on Sunday, but a
fourth-quarter earnings miss by Industries Qatar could
dampen that market.
Growth in Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector accelerated
to its fastest rate for 17 months in January as the government
injected cash into the economy after a long period of austerity,
a purchasing managers' index based on a survey of companies
showed on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Brent oil futures added 0.42 percent to
$56.81 a barrel on Friday, rising more than 2 percent for the
week partly because of geopolitical tensions with Iran. MSCI's
all-world stock index gained 0.56 percent to
finish the week marginally higher.
In Qatar, however, petrochemical and metals giant Industries
Qatar reported a fourth-quarter net profit of about 230
million riyals ($63.2 million), according to Reuters
calculations based on its financial statements, well below an
average of 903 million riyals forecast by three analysts. It cut
its proposed annual dividend to 4 riyals from 5 riyals.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia)