Major Gulf indexes closed higher on Thursday, as oil prices gained on worries that a potential expansion of the Gaza war might disrupt Middle East supplies. Oil price - a key catalyst for Gulf's financial markets - was up 0.63% to $85.79 a barrel by 1200 GMT.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index, which recorded its first monthly gain after three months of consecutive losses, advanced 0.6%, helped by a 10% surge in Al Taiseer Group TALCO Industrial and a 2.2% increase in biggest lender Saudi National Bank.

Amid the gainers, renewable energy utility firm Acwa Power jumped 2.9% after the firm signed three power purchase agreements with Saudi Power Procurement Company for large-scale solar plants with a total capacity of 5.5 gigawatts, the firm said in a filing. The agreements are worth 12.3 billion riyals ($3.28 billion).

Abu Dhabi's benchmark index settled 0.4% higher, snapping two sessions of losses, with Abu Dhabi biggest real estate developer Aldar Properties rising 1.7% and IHC-owned investment firm Multiply Group rising 1.5%.

The Qatari benchmark index rose 0.9%, extending gains to the 18th session in a row, supported by a rise in energy and financial sector stocks with Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank increasing 0.4% and Qatar Gas Transport hiking 3.7%. The Qatari index has risen in all sessions this month, posting its highest monthly gain this year, according to LSEG data.

Dubai's main index ended 0.1% higher with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties climbing 1.6% and Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation rising 0.7%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index rose for a third consecutive session and gained 1% with Commercial International Bank adding 1.9% and EFG Holding jumping 4.6%. Egypt's market remains on a positive trend as it continues to see resistance near last month's highs, said Joseph Dahrieh, managing principal at Tickmill, but "at the same time, the ongoing energy crisis could continue to exert pressure on economic and industrial activity and could weigh on the stock market if it exacerbates".

  • SAUDI ARABIA rose 1.7% to 12,907
  • ABU DHABI up 0.4% to 9,004
  • DUBAI edged up 0.07% at 4,009
  • QATAR added 0.9% to 9,962
  • EGYPT 0.97% to 27,766
  • BAHRAIN down 0.2% to 2,031
  • OMAN gained 0.3% at 4,688
  • KUWAIT jumped 0.6% to 7,576

(Reporting by Mohd Edrees in Bengaluru; Editing by Vijay Kishore)