Major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Thursday as investors assessed the Federal Reserve commentary and ongoing geopolitical tensions.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.3%, on course to end two sessions of losses, led by a 4.1% rise in Saudi Arabian Mining Company after the bourse launched single stock options contracts on the stock.

Elsewhere, Allianz Saudi Fransi Cooperative Insurance edged 0.3% higher after Abu Dhabi National Insurance CO acquired 51% in the insurer for $133.1 million.

The Qatari benchmark added 0.3%, with Qatar Navigation rising 1.8% and petrochemical maker Industries Qatar increasing 0.4%.

Oil prices - a catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets - were little changed after a 3% drop in the previous session as the market remained concerned about demand this year and on signs that a wider conflict in the key Middle East producing region could be avoided.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged 0.1% higher.

Top U.S. central bank officials including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell backed away on Tuesday from providing any guidance on when interest rates may be cut, saying instead that monetary policy needs to be restrictive for longer and further, dashing investor hopes for meaningful reductions in borrowing costs this year.

Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar and any monetary policy change in the United States is usually mimicked by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Dubai's main share index advanced 1%, after four consecutive sessions of losses, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties rising 1.2%.

Separately, cryptocurrency exchange Binance said on Thursday it had secured a licence from Dubai's regulator Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority that will allow the platform to target retail clients in addition to qualified and institutional ones.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)