September 11, 2017 / 5:53 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets may have firm tone on global environment

DUBAI, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets may have a modestly firm tone on Monday because of a positive global environment and strong short-term technicals, though a lack of major corporate news may deter any aggressive buying.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is up 0.4 percent because of an apparent easing of North Korean tensions, for now at least, while Brent crude oil has gained 0.4 percent to $54.01 a barrel after the Saudi Arabian oil minister discussed the possible extension of a pact to cut global oil supplies beyond March 2018.

Technically, the Saudi stock index, last at 7,378 points, rose on Sunday above the mid-July peak of 7,366 points in increasing volume; a second straight close above that level would confirm a break of resistance, leaving no barrier before the July peak of 7,586 points.

Dubai’s index, last at 3,648 points, has been trending up since mid-August and faces no resistance before the August peak of 3,681 points.

In Egypt, annual urban consumer price inflation dipped to 31.9 percent year-on-year in August from 33.0 percent in July, the official CAPMAS statistics agency said on Sunday; core inflation, which strips out volatile items like food, decreased to 34.86 percent from 35.26 percent, according to the central bank. This is positive economic news which, if it continues, could permit the central bank to ease policy late this year. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia)

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