Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf bourses rise in early trade

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index advanced 0.7%,

  
Saudi traders monitor stocks at a Saudi Bank in Dammam October 26, 2008.

Saudi traders monitor stocks at a Saudi Bank in Dammam October 26, 2008.

REUTERS/Stringer

Major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Thursday, with the Saudi index on track to extend gains for a second session.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index advanced 0.7%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1.6% and oil giant Saudi Aramco up 0.6%.

The index on Tuesday ended three sessions of declines triggered by tensions with Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis, who claimed responsibility on Nov. 20 for drone attacks in several parts of the kingdom, including at Saudi Aramco facilities in Jeddah. 

On Wednesday the Saudi-led coalition said it was launching air strikes on military targets in Yemen's capital Sanaa and asked civilians not to approach the targeted areas. 

Dubai's main share index gained 0.9%, boosted by a 9% surge in Amlak Finance, and was on course to rise for a tenth session in eleven.

Last week the Islamic finance company swung to a third-quarter net profit of 887.1 million dirhams ($241.55 million), against a loss of 151.4 million dirhams a year earlier.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged 0.1% higher, helped by a 2.9% rise for Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Turkey and the United Arab Emirates signed accords for billions of dollars of investments on Wednesday, including in technology and energy, after talks between President Tayyip Erdogan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. 

Sheikh Mohammed's visit to Ankara, the first in years, comes as the two countries work to mend frayed ties and amid a currency crisis in Turkey.

The Qatari index added 0.1%, with sharia-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan up 0.8%.

($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham)

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


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