Saudi Arabian stocks rose in early trade on Tuesday, and were on track to snap three sessions of losses, as oil prices gained, while the Dubai index fell for a seventh consecutive session.
Crude prices — a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets — jumped, buoyed by hopes that China would relax its COVID-19 controls after rare protests against the country's zero-COVID strategy over the weekend in big Chinese cities.
The street protests that erupted in cities across China over the weekend were a referendum against President Xi Jinping's zero-COVID policy and the strongest public defiance during his political career, China analysts said.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.5%, bolstered by a 2.3% jump in oil giant Saudi Aramco and a 1.7% increase in Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services.
Separately, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced on Monday plans to transform Riyadh airport into a massive aviation hub with six parallel runways and designed to accommodate up to 120 million travellers by 2030, state news agency SPA reported.
In Qatar, the index advanced 1%, as most of the stocks on the index were in positive territory including the Gulf's biggest lender Qatar National Bank.
Dubai's main share index, however, fell 0.2%, hit by a 1.8% fall in Dubai Investments.
In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.2%.
The board of Abu Dhabi's ADNOC endorsed plans on Monday to bring forward the company's five million barrel per day oil production capacity expansion to 2027 from a previous target of 2030, to meet rising global energy demand.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)