Major stock markets in the Gulf were up in early trade on Thursday on optimism about potential U.S. interest rate cuts, even as the timing of the move remained uncertain.

Data on Wednesday showed lower growth in the U.S. services industry and bolstered optimism over the potential easing of monetary policy. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's reaffirmation about lowering rates also aided sentiment.

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

The Qatari benchmark index advanced 0.9%, supported by gains in almost all stocks with Qatar Islamic Bank climbing 1.2% and Qatar National Bank, the region's largest lender, rising 1.7%.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index was up 0.3%, with most constituents in the green, led by materials and IT stocks.

Saudi Basic Industries gained 2.3% and Sahara International Petrochemical climbed 4.3%, while the kingdom's largest mobile operator, Saudi Telecom and e-services provider, Elm Company added 1% and 1.7%, respectively.

Dubai's benchmark stock index rose 0.4%, lifted by gains in most sectors with tolls operator Salik Company adding 2.2% and Mashreqbank surging 7.6%.

In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark stock index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 0.9% gain in conglomerate Alpha Dhabi Holding a 4% rise in Presight AI Holdings.

(Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)