Stock markets in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) closed higher on Wednesday, a day after the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast a positive oil demand.
The IEA said on Tuesday that vaccine roll-outs were set to power a rebound in oil demand after a three-month slide due to the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 and pandemic restrictions, especially in Asia.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index was up 0.3%, led by gains in material and financial shares. Chemical maker Saudi Basic Industries rose 2% and its fertilizer-making unit SABIC-Agri-Nutrients jumped 4.5%.
Al Rajhi Bank was up 0.3%, while the oil giant Saudi Aramco added 0.6%.
The Abu Dhabi index closed 0.8% higher after three straight days of losses. Market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank rose 1.3%, while Emirates Telecommunications Group advanced 1.5%.
Aldar Properties gained 0.5%, a day after a consortium led by the company submitted a request to Egypt's Financial Regulatory Authority for purchasing up to 90% of Egyptian property developer SODIC.
In Dubai, the index ended 0.2% higher, after falling as much as 0.5% earlier.
Blue-chip developer Emar Properties increased 1.2% and Dubai Islamic Bank added 0.8%.
Gains were capped by a 1.1% decline in Dubai's biggest lender, Emirates NBD.
The United Arab Emirates will pursue an aggressive timetable to negotiate economic agreements with eight countries it wants to deepen trade ties with, hoping it can wrap up some of those talks within a year, its trade minister said on Tuesday, though he did not identify any country.
The Qatari index dropped 0.2% as Industries Qatar lost 0.6% and Qatar National Bank shed 0.3%.
Outside the Gulf, the Egyptian index was down 0.3%, with the country's largest lender Commercial International Bank Egypt decreasing 1.2%.
(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))