Major stock markets in the Gulf climbed on Wednesday boosted by a jump in oil prices and as sentiment was helped by coronavirus-induced lockdowns easing in some parts of the world.
Oil prices gained on Wednesday as U.S. stockpiles rose less than expected and on expectations demand will improve as some European countries and some U.S. cities moved to ease restrictions.
Brent crude futures rose 4.1%, or 83 cents, to $21.29 a barrel at 0753 GMT, adding to a 2.3% gain on Tuesday.
Energy stocks added 0.5% boosted by gains in oil giant Saudi Aramco, up 0.8%.
That along with gains in Al Rajhi Bank, up 1.3%, helped Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rise 1%.
Investment firm Saudi Industrial Development increased 2% after its board proposed to use its statutory reserves to cover a part of accumulated losses.
In Dubai, the index gained 1%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties rising 1.9% and DAMAC Properties leaping 5.9%.
The Abu Dhabi index edged 0.2% higher as aquaculture firm International Holding rose 4.5% and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank gained 0.6%.
Also helping sentiment, emirate's media office in a tweet said the United Arab Emirates' government of Abu Dhabi will allocate 15% of government procurement spending and annual contracts to micro-Small and Medium Enterprises from 2020 onwards to drive growth for small businesses.
However, the gains in Abu Dhabi's index were limited by losses at energy firm Dana Gas, which declined 2.7% a day before it trades ex-dividend.
Qatar's index gained 0.3%, supported by a 1.6% rise in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar and a 3% increase in telecoms firm Ooredoo. Ooredoo is scheduled to report its first-quarter results on Wednesday.
A decliner was Qatar Insurance, down 3.9%, after it posted a net loss of 185 million riyals ($50.82 million) in the first-quarter, from a profit of 266 million riyals a year earlier.
($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))