U.S. Markets closed

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may move sideways as investors await fresh Q1 results

DUBAI, April 16 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf may trade sideways on Sunday as investors await a fresh batch of first-quarter results and because most other markets were shut for the Easter holiday.

Brent crude June contracts closed at $55.89 a barrel on Thursday. Last week the commodity recouped more of March's losses on increased hopes world supply and demand were nearing balance. The contracts did not trade on Friday in observance of Good Friday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2 percent on Friday, though many markets in the region, including Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, were closed.

European, and U.S. markets are also shut for the holiday.

Last week stock markets in the Gulf saw some positive momentum as first-quarter results, especially from banking firms, encouraged some institutional funds to buy up shares in that sector.

"For the momentum to be extended into this week, asset managers will be waiting for more positive surprises but will be very prudent with their allocation," said a Riyadh-based fund manager.

The Dubai-listed shares of Bahrain investment firm GFH Financial Group may attract buying interest after the company said one its units had signed a deal to acquire a U.S. based data centre, in partnership with a New York Stock Exchange listed real estate investment trust, with a market value exceeding $100 million.

The subsidiary plans to offer the investment for private placement. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)