MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may be supported by oil surge, Alinma beats estimates

Gulf stock markets may be supported on Monday by a surge in oil prices, while better-than-expected earnings by a prominent Saudi Arabian bank may help that market.

  
DUBAI - Gulf stock markets may be supported on Monday by a surge in oil prices, while better-than-expected earnings by a prominent Saudi Arabian bank may help that market.

Brent oil has climbed 1.2 percent to $57.88 per barrel on Monday morning after Iraqi forces began moving towards oil fields held by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Turmoil in Iraq has tended to have little or no negative impact on Gulf stock markets in recent years, so investors may react instead to the rise of oil prices, which could buoy petrochemical stocks.

Alinma Bank may gain after reporting third-quarter net profit of 542 million riyals ($145 million), up from 312 million riyals a year ago; analysts had on average forecast 493 million riyals.

In Abu Dhabi, however, United Arab Bankreported a net loss of 5.4 million dirhams ($1.5 million) for the third quarter against 17 million dirhams of net profit in the same period last year.

Asian shares have advanced to a decade-high on Monday, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gaining for a fifth day running to its highest level since late 2007.

(Reporting by Aziz l Yaakoubi; Editing by Andrew Torchia) ((aziz.elyaakoubi@thomsonreuters.com; +971552994086))