Middle East stocks closed higher on Sunday following Friday's rise in global equities and a jump in oil prices, with Egyptian shares outperforming after the International Monetary Fund forecast better economic growth for the country.
Sentiment was supported by United Arab Emirates reopening all its land, sea and air entry points with Qatar on Saturday, while Qatar Airways and Saudi Airlines said they would resume flights between Doha and Riyadh as part of a deal to end a three-year-old regional dispute.
Global equities rallied on Friday as investors looked beyond U.S. political unrest to further stimulus to mend the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic, while Brent crude rose 3% to $55.99 a barrel.
Egypt's blue-chip index rose 2.4%, with most of its constituents closing higher. Commercial International Bank -Egypt led with a 3.9% rise, its sharpest intra-day gain since June last year.
The IMF raised its growth forecast for Egypt's economy to 2.8% from the 2% it had estimated in June for the 2020/2021 financial year, which runs from July to June.
Dubai's index closed up 1.9%, with Dubai Islamic Bank and Emaar Properties adding 3% and 3.1% respectively.
SHUAA Capital gained 3.1% after a consortium it leads bought 1.13 billion dirhams ($308 million) of Dubai-based Stanford Marine Group (SMG) debt.
Saudi Arabia's index was up 0.9%, with Al Rajhi Bank and Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services gaining 0.7% and 1.6%, respectively.
United Electronics ended up 5.6% after jumping as much as 9.2% during the day. The electronics retailer said its profit for the fourth quarter rose 41.2% to 101.8 million riyals ($27.14 million).
Qatar's index finished 0.4% higher as the maritime and logistics firm Qatar Navigation (Milaha) jumped 5.4% to 7.652 riyals, its highest close since March, 2017. Qatar Gas Transport advanced 2.2%.
The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.2% as telecoms major Etisalat gained 0.4% and Aldar Properties inched 0.6% higher.
($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) ($1 = 3.7514 riyals)
(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))