|05 April, 2017

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may follow global shares, crude oil higher

Crude oil prices near one-month highs and a slightly more upbeat mood in global shares on the back of a bounce in Chinese shares may help carry stock markets in the Gulf higher on Wednesday.

DUBAI, April 5 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices near one-month highs and a slightly more upbeat mood in global shares on the back of a bounce in Chinese shares may help carry stock markets in the Gulf higher on Wednesday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4 percent with Shanghai and Hong Kong leading the region.

Brent crude hit its highest level since March 8 on the previous day, and extended the gains in early trade on Wednesday, up 0.6 percent at $54.48 a barrel at 0530 GMT.

Petrochemical shares in Saudi Arabia, which make up roughly one-fifth of the total stock market value, may outperform helping lift the index, which last closed at 6,986 points, to test the immediate short-term resistance at Sunday's peak of 7,029 points.

Meanwhile Dubai's index may close higher for a sixth consecutive session, if buying momentum continues to build. Shares of telecommunication operator Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company may weigh on the index as its shares go ex-dividend on Wednesday.

In Abu Dhabi, shares of Sharjah Insurance go ex-dividend. In Saudi Arabia, shares of agriculture firm Jazan Development go ex-dividend.

(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Sunil Nair) ((celine.aswad@thomsonreuters.com)(+9715 62247653)(Reuters Messaging: celine.aswad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))