Most Gulf markets closed higher on Sunday mirroring the previous session's rise in global stocks on easing concerns about the U.S. economy, while Saudi Arabia ended three consecutive days of losses.
The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to near a 50-year low of 3.5% in September, with job growth increasing moderately, suggesting the slowing economy could avoid a recession for now despite the trade dispute between the United States and China.
Saudi Arabia's index was up 0.5% with Jabal Omar Development adding 3.9% in what was the biggest boost for the index. The developer and hospitality service provider rose in last six sessions after Saudi Arabia launched a new visa regime for 49 countries and appealed to foreign companies to invest in tourism sector.
National Shipping Co. (Bahri) surged 4.8% to its sharpest single-day percentage gain since Oct. 28 last year after the Ministry of Defence extended shipment contract with the firm for a year, increasing the total deal value to 421.7 million riyals ($112.5 million).
Advanced Petrochemical gained 1.2% after reporting higher third-quarter profit, while AXA Cooperative Insurance jumped 5.7% after Saudi regulator approved its request for increasing the capital.
Improving the market sentiment was a potential ceasefire in Yemen after Saudi Arabia was reported considering a proposal by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement for some form of ceasefire which, if agreed, could bolster U.N. efforts to end a devastating war that has tarnished Riyadh's reputation.
In Dubai, the index closed 0.7% higher, offseting earlier losses in the day. Dubai’s top lender Emirates NBD rose 0.8% and Arabtec Holding jumped 4.7%.
The contractor said its unit Target Engineering won a 280 million riyals ($74.67 million) contract from oil giant Saudi Aramco.
Amlak Finance soared 14.5% to its highest level since November 28 last year. The sharia-compliant finance company has risen in recent sessions following a court ruling that awarded 780 million dirhams ($212.36 million) in an arbitration.
Abu Dhabi's index edged up 0.2%, after four days of straight losses with market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD gaining 0.5% and Aldar Properties increasing 1.5%.
In Qatar, the index traded flat with Qatar Industries gaining 0.9%.
($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham)
(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))