Most stock markets in the Gulf rose on Tuesday, led by the Saudi index, as the expectation for higher oil demand in China and the U.S. boosted crude prices amid rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Russia.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index was up for a second straight session and advanced 0.4%, supported by gains in finance, healthcare, materials and utilities sectors with Rajhi Bank, the world's largest Islamic lender, gaining 0.9%, and ACWA Power rising 1.4%. Among other gainers, Saudi Basic Industries and Middle East Pharmaceutical Industries climbed 5.5% and 4.9%, respectively.

Dubai's benchmark index rose for a fourth consecutive session and ended 0.1% higher, lifted by gains in real estate, consumer discretionary and finance sectors. The blue-chip developer Emaar Properties climbed 2.5% and Tecom Group added 1.5%. In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 1.4% rise in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and a 3.8% increase in Presight AI Holding while conglomerate Alpha Dhabi Holding slipped 1%.

The Qatari benchmark index dropped 0.7%, dragged down by losses in finance, utilities, energy and communication sectors with Qatar Islamic Bank falling 0.9% and Qatar National Bank, the region's largest lender, shedding 0.8%. Among other losers, Commercial Bank slumped 6.8% and closed at 4.56 riyal, its lowest in nearly three years, as the lender traded ex-dividend. Oil prices - a catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets- climbed 1.3%, with Brent trading at $88.57 a barrel by 1256 GMT.

Oil supplies faced fresh threats from Ukranian attacks on Russian energy facilities and escalating conflict in the Middle East, while an expansion in March manufacturing activity in China and the U.S. offered a more optimistic demand outlook.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index declined 1.3%, with most sectors posting losses. Commercial International Bank and Talaat Mostafa Group slipped 2.4% and 1.9% respectively, while E-Finance for Digital dropped 4.5%.

  • SAUDI ARABIA rose 0.4% to 12,477
  • KUWAIT added 0.2% to 8,089
  • QATAR was down 0.7% to 9,794
  • EGYPT dropped 1.3% to 27,934
  • BAHRAIN lost 0.2% to 2,029
  • OMAN gained 0.2% to 4,673
  • ABU DHABI added 0.1% to 9,253
  • DUBAI was up 0.1% to 4,269

(Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; Editing by Ravi Prakash Kumar)