Most Gulf shares fell in early trade on Wednesday, with the Saudi index on course to extend losses for a fourth straight session, on persistent fears about a global recession.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index dropped 0.5%, hit by a 0.9% fall in oil giant Saudi Aramco and a 0.3% decrease in Retal Urban Development Co.

Advanced Petrochemical Co slid 3.4%, after reporting a steep fall in its quarterly profit.

The kingdom and the United Arab Emirates are boosting state spending on social welfare by billions of dollars, as they seek to shield their citizens from rising living costs.

The UAE is doubling the financial support it provides to low-income Emirati families to 28 billion dirhams ($7.6 billion) to help them with soaring inflation in the Gulf state, while Saudi Arabia's King Salman ordered a 20 billion riyal ($5.33 billion) allocation.

Dubai's main share index fell 0.9%, weighed down by a 1.8% fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 0.8% decrease in Emirates NBD.

Qatari shares declined 1.8%, as almost all the stocks on the index were in negative territory including petrochemical maker Industries Qatar, which retreated 4.2%.

The Abu Dhabi index, however, edged 0.2% higher, helped by a 0.6% increase in the country's biggest lender First Abu DHabi Bank.

Oil prices rose as much as nearly 3% before paring some gains, as investors piled back into the market after a heavy rout in the previous session, with supply concerns returning to the fore even as worries about a global recession linger.

($1 = 3.6727 UAE dirham) ($1 = 3.7539 riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)