Most major Gulf markets rose early on Thursday, supported by financial-service shares, amid rising oil prices and U.S.-China trade deal hopes.
Oil prices were up on Thursday as improved trade relations between the United States and China eased demand concerns, while rising tensions in the Middle East fuelled worries about supply.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Phase 1 of trade deal with China would be signed on Jan. 15 at the White House.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.3%. Al Rajhi Bank rose 0.5% and Saudi British Bank was up 0.7%, a day after it proposed a dividend for the second half of 2019.
Saudi Automotive Services rose 0.5%. On Wednesday, it announced commencement of operations at six sites. State-owned Saudi Aramco opened up 0.1% at 35.2 riyals.
The Dubai index edged up 0.2%. Dubai Islamic Bank rose 0.5% and Dubai Investments 1.5%.
Qatar's main index was also up 0.1%. Masraf Al Rayan advanced 2.3% and Doha Bank 5.1%. The gains were capped by losses in Mesaieed Petrochemical, which dropped 3.6%.
Abu Dhabi's index traded flat. Telecoms company Etisalat was up 0.2%; Waha Capital plunged 6%.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))