Saudi Arabian stocks gained on Thursday as oil prices rose, while most Gulf markets recovered from a recent sell-off.
Oil futures rose more than $1 a barrel on Thursday, recovering half the nearly 5% lost the day before, on expectations that lower prices may lead to production cuts.
Many investors took profits before the Eid Holiday, which begins on Sunday and lasts for a week in Saudi Arabia and at least three days in other Gulf countries.
In Saudi Arabia, the index rose 0.2%. Saudi Cement gained 7.3%, snapping a three-day losing streak. Samba Financial Group was up 1.4%.
Some disappointing earnings capped the gains. Saudi Investment Bank plunged 9.1%, making it the top loser on the index. The bank reported net losses on Wednesday of 284.7 million riyals ($75.90 million) in the second quarter, down from profit of 336.8 million riyals a year earlier.
CHUBB Arabia Cooperative Insurance dropped 3.9% after reporting second-quarter net profit fell nearly 63% before zakat.
Dubai's index traded 0.2% higher. Emaar Properties gained 1% and its unit Emaar Malls rose 1.5%.
Budget airline Air Arabia gained 2.6% after it reported its second-quarter profit rose 75% as passenger demand increased.
Qatar's index was up 0.6%, with most of its banks gaining. Industries Qatar added 1.9% and Qatar National Bank rose 1%.
Abu Dhabi's index slid 0.3%. First Abu Dhabi fell 0.3% and International Holding Company lost 2.4% after reporting its second-quarter net profit dropped.
However, Dana Gas rose 1% after its first-half profit rose to $140 million from $24 million a year earlier . ($1 = 3.7508 riyals)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; editing by Larry King)
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