Saudi bourse gains on higher oil prices

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by Reuters

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Saudi bourse gains on higher oil prices

April 4 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market ended higher on Tuesday on rising oil prices, while the Egyptian bourse eased after four sessions of gains.

Crude prices - a catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets - rose after OPEC+ plans to cut more production jolted markets on Monday, with investor attention shifting to demand trends and the impact of higher prices on the global economy.

The OPEC+ production curbs led many analysts to raise their Brent oil price forecasts to around $100 per barrel by year-end. Goldman Sachs lifted its forecast for Brent to $95 a barrel by the end of this year, and to $100 for 2024.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) advanced 1.3%, buoyed by a 2% rise in Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) and a 2.7% leap in Saudi National Bank (1180.SE).

The kingdom's non-oil business activity continued to expand at a strong rate in March, a monthly survey showed, boosted by an increase in new orders, although the pace of growth slowed from the previous month.

The Saudi stock market continued to show strong gains supported by oil price increases and positive local fundamentals, said Farah Mourad, Senior Market Analyst of XTB MENA.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) eased 0.3%, ending four sessions of gains.

Mourad said changing global sentiment could affect prices on the Egyptian market after a strong performance last month.

"At the same time, traders reacted to data on the difficulties that the local economy is facing. Inflation remains a negative factor. As a result, international investors could continue to leave the market."

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