Mideast Stocks: Saudi leads most Gulf markets higher on oil price strength

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.7%


Most stocks in the Gulf region rose in early trade on Monday, supported by rising oil prices, with the Saudi index set to end three sesssions of losses.

Brent crude climbed $1.23, or 1.9%, to $66.41 a barrel by 0701 GMT, recovering from a seven-day losing streak with support from a weaker dollar. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.7%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1.3% and Saudi National Bank, the kingdom's largest lender, was up 1.2%.

Elsewhere, Kingdom Holding, a company controlled by Saudi Arabia's prince Alwaleed bin Talal, gained over 1% after it posted a quarterly net profit of 412.2 million riyals ($109.91 million), compared to a loss of 1.13 billion riyals year ago. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.2%, hit by a 1.1% fall in in Emirates Telecommunications Group and the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank falling 0.5%.

Dubai's main share index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 0.4% gain in Sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and a 5.9% jump in Union Properties.

Dubai's residential property market is on a steady course, with prices expected to rise modestly over the next couple of years, according to a Reuters poll of housing analysts who say property prices there will remain affordable during that time. 

The Qatari benchmark added 0.2%, as banking shares continued to rise including Qatar Islamic Bank, up 1.4%.

The Gulf state's cabinet approved lifting the percentage of non-Qatari ownership in the capital of Qatar National Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank and Al Rayan Bank to 100%, which could attract more liquidity to the bourse. 

($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

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

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