Saudi Arabia's stock market inched up on Thursday, aided by a results-driven rally in cement producers for the third session, while most major Middle Eastern markets gained.
The Saudi Arabian index rose 0.4 percent, with Umm Al Qura Cement leading the gains at 6.5 percent after posting a significant rise in its first-quarter net profit.
Most cement producers in Saudi continued their rally after strong first-quarter results. Hail Cement rose 2.8 percent and Najran Cement 2.4 percent.
Eastern Province Cement added 3.7 percent after appointing Mohammed Al-Subaie as chairman.
Saudi Industrial Services climbed 3 percent after reporting a surge in its first-quarter net profit, driven by higher revenue in its ports and logistics services units.
Dubai's index added 0.3 percent, helped by a 2.6 percent rise by Emaar Properties and a 2.2 percent gain in Dubai Investments.
Emaar's Emaar Development unit began a 25 billion-dirham ($6.81 billion) costal building project in Dubai. But property firm Deyaar Development slipped 3.3 percent after its first-quarter net profit more than halved.
Qatar's blue-chip index was up 0.4 percent, lifted by a 10 percent gain for drilling rig provider Gulf International Services. It won contracts from Qatar Petroleum to provide six offshore drilling rigs.
The Abu Dhabi index was flat, with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) down 0.3 percent in light trade. ADCB began trading on Wednesday after completing its three-way merger with Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank.
($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham)
(Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King) ((Karina.Dsouza@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6373; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))