Mideast Stocks-Most markets end higher as investors cheer Biden transition, vaccine progress

Dubai logs best day in 10 sessions

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Traders monitor stock information at Dubai Financial Market, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 5, 2017.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Traders monitor stock information at Dubai Financial Market, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 5, 2017.

REUTERS/Stringer

Most major Gulf markets closed higher on Tuesday, tracking gains on global bourses, helped by a formal transition nod for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and new coronavirus vaccine developments.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday gave the head of the General Services Administration the go-ahead to proceed with a transition to a government led by Biden despite plans to continue with legal challenges.

Global financial markets have gained in recent weeks on encouraging news about the development of COVID-19 vaccines, spurring hopes of a speedy global economic revival.

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the region's economies, hit their highest levels since March, when the collapse of an earlier OPEC-led output pact coincided with cratering demand due to the developing pandemic.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 0.3%, driven by gains in lender Al-Rajhi Bank and oil behemoth Saudi Aramco, which each added 0.6%.

Aramco said its domestic fuel supplies had not been affected by Monday's attack on a petroleum products distribution plant in Jeddah by Yemen's Houthi group. u

Dubai's main share index closed 1.9% higher, its biggest daily gain in 10 sessions, with financials and real estate stocks powering the benchmark.

Emaar Properties added 4.5%, while lender Dubai Islamic Bank rose 1.4%, making the pair the top gainers on the benchmark.

The Abu Dhabi index, however, bucked the trend, easing 0.5%.

First Abu Dhabi Bank lost 1.2%, as did International Holdings Co.

In Qatar, the benchmark index fell 0.7%, with Qatar National Bank down 2.4% and Qatar Islamic Bank 2.7% lower.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index gained about 1%.

Commercial International Bank Egypt broke an eight-session losing run to close 0.6% higher, while industrial firm El Sewedy Electric CoSWDY.CA gained 6.6%.

SAUDI ARABIA gained 0.3% to 8,636 ABU DHABI lost 0.5% to 4,947 DUBAI rose 1.9% to 2,400 QATAR fell 0.7% to 10,261 EGYPT gained 1% to 10,997 BAHRAIN added 0.1% to 6179 OMAN lost 0.1% to3,624 KUWAIT gained 0.1% to 6179

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ((abyjose.koilparambil@thomsonreuters.com; +91 (0)8061822683;))

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