Most stock markets in the Gulf were up in early trading on Monday, led by the Qatar index, as hopes of rising fuel demand this summer lifted crude prices.

Oil prices, a catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, edged higher, with the benchmark Brent crude up 0.4% at $79.97 a barrel by 0740 GMT.

The Qatari benchmark index rose 0.4%, helped by a 0.9% rise in Qatar National Bank, the region's largest lender, and a 0.7% gain in Qatar Gas Transport.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index was up 0.2%, with most of its constituents posting gains. Saudi Telecom , the kingdom's largest network operator, added 1.1% and Sahara International Petrochemical gained 2.2%.

Dubai's benchmark stock index rose 0.2%, supported by gains in real estate, utilities and finance. The blue-chip developer Emaar Properties rose 1.9% and Mashreqbank added 1.5%.

The Abu Dhabi benchmark index was up 0.2%, with the emirate's largest developer Aldar Properties rising 1.9% and conglomerate Alpha Dhabi Holding gaining 1.8%.

(Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; Editing by Eileen Soreng)