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) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +91 (0)8061822683;))