Gulf markets may look to global sentiment in thin catalysts

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Gulf markets are likely to track gains on global shares due to thin local news flow on Thursday, while Egyptians worried over further protests over the weekend may feel compelled to book recent gains.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the timeline for the US central bank to end its stimulus program was not set in stone. World stocks rose on Bernanke's comments but Asian shares fall on Thursday as concerns over financing available to property developers weighed on Chinese markets.

Brent futures slipped on Thursday on the back of a stronger dollar, but held above $108 a barrel.

In Muscat, shares in National Bank of Oman may gain after the lender posted a near-flat second quarter net profit, Reuters calculated, but beat analyst estimates.

In Egypt, supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi attempted to block main roads in Cairo earlier this week. Seven were killed and 250 wounded late Tuesday when pro-Mursi supporters clashed with his opponents and security forces.

More protests are planned for Friday following an interim cabinet, made up mainly of liberals and technocrats, taking office on Wednesday, traders say.

Cairo's benchmark slipped 0.3 percent the previous day to ease from Tuesday's six-week high.

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