Mideast Stocks: Gulf markets make gains on oil, economic recovery

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.6%


June 14 (Reuters) - Major Gulf stock markets rose on Monday, lifted by optimism about economic recovery and oil prices which gained on an improved outlook for worldwide fuel demand.

Oil prices are a key catalyst for the Gulf region's financial markets and Brent crude was up 76 cents, or 1.1%, at $73.43 a barrel at 0734 GMT, its highest level since May 2019. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.6%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 2.7% and petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries up 0.6%.

The kingdom will bar people from shopping malls unless they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, state TV reported on Sunday, citing a decision by the trade ministry. 

"GCC financial markets should remain in the positive territory thanks to the subduing economic impact of the pandemic and the economic revival," Daniel Takieddine, market analyst at FXPrimus, said.

Some remaining restrictions could slow the recovery a little, but not in a significant manner, Takieddine added.

Dubai's main share index rose 0.6%, led by a 1.2% gain in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 0.4% increase in Emirates NBD Bank.

In Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) second-most populous emirate, the stock index rose 0.3%.

Abu Dhabi will from Tuesday limit entry to shopping centres, restaurants, cafes and other public places to those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recently tested negative for the coronavirus. 

The Qatari benchmark was up 0.8%, as most of the stocks on the index were in positive territory including petrochemical firm Industries Qatar.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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