Oil prices Saudi shares may rise on news of government payments

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Higher crude oil prices may boost oil-sensitive shares in the Gulf on Sunday while Saudi Arabia's index could get a boost from news that the government has made a major amount of delayed payments to the private sector.

Brent oil futures rose roughly 5 percent last week to end on Friday at $46.86 a barrel, buoyed by growing expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will find a way to cap production at the end of the month.

Also, Saudi Arabia's Arab News newspaper quoted a senior construction industry executive as saying the government had made a payment of 40 billion riyals ($10.7 billion) that it owed to private sector companies, and would soon make more payments.

However, the Saudi index, which last closed at 6,629 points, faces technical resistance at the July peak of 6,703 points, and falling trading volume at the end of last week suggests upward momentum may be fading.

Shares in Dubai's Shuaa Capital, last at 1.47 dirhams, may drop after the company announced Abu Dhabi Financial Group had acquired 48.36 percent of the firm from Dubai Banking Group, a subsidiary of Dubai Group, for 0.705 dirham a share.


(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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