Major Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Sunday, tracking a rally in global equity markets and a jump in oil prices on Friday. The sentiment in the Gulf was additionally supported by further developments on Saudi Arabia and its allies' agreement to restore ties with Qatar.
Global equities rallied on Friday as investors looked beyond U.S. political unrest and focused on further stimulus to mend the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Brent crude settled at $55.99 a barrel, climbing 3% on Friday, supported by Saudi Arabia's pledge to cut output and strong gains in major equity markets.
Regionally, United Arab Emirates reopened all its land, sea and air entry points with Qatar on Saturday, while Qatar Airways and Saudi Airlines announced they would resume flights between Doha and Riyadh as part of a political rapprochement in a three-year-old dispute.
Saudi Arabia's index was trading 0.7% higher with Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Basic Industries rising 1% and 0.8%, respectively.
United Electronics, which kicked off fourth quarter earnings in Saudi Arabia, jumped 8.3% to be the biggest percentage gainer on the index. The electronics retailer said its profit for the quarter surged 41.2% to 101.8 million riyals ($27.14 million).
Dubai's index advanced 1.5%, with Emirates NBD Bank increasing 2.3% and the largest listed developer Emaar Properties adding 1.8%.
Shuaa Capital gained 2.1% after saying a consortium led by it had bought out 1.13 billion dirhams ($308 million) debt of Dubai-based Stanford Marine Group.
The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.4% as First Abu Dhabi Bank and Aldar Properties led the gains, rising 0.6% and 1.2%, respectively.
Qatar's index was up 0.3%, led by gains in banking shares. Qatar National Bank gained 0.8%.
Masraf Alrayan added 0.9%. On Thursday, the Islamic lender said it had entered into a merger agreement with Al Khalij Commercial Bank (Al Khaliji) and would issue 0.50 of a share for every Al Khaliji share.
Al Khaliji, which is not a part of the index, surged 6.1% in its sixth consecutive day of gains.
($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)
($1 = 3.7514 riyals)
(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))