Gulf Markets Edge Up After Oil Prices Firm

Dubai’s bourse added 1.6 per cent as most stocks gained.

Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Sunday after oil prices extended gains and global equities rallied on Friday.

Oil rose to end the week higher after seven successive weeks of losses, with Brent slightly above $50 a barrel

A report by the International Energy Agency said there were signs that lower prices had begun to curb production in some areas, including North America.

Equities in the U.S., Europe and Asia also advanced on Friday as U.S. consumer sentiment hit an 11-year high.

Dubai’s bourse added 1.6 per cent as most stocks gained. The benchmark fluctuated near 3,900 points, the level at which all previous 2015 rallies floundered.

Abu Dhabi’s index jumped 2.1 per cent as shares in National Bank of Abu Dhabi surged 6.1 per cent. Abu Dhabi’s second-largest lender by market value is forecast to report a 20 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, according to four analysts polled by Reuters.

Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan and Industries Qatar, up 2.1 and 1.6 per cent respectively, helped lift the Doha index 0.6 per cent.

Industries Qatar, the Gulf’s second-largest petrochemicals firm, said on Thursday it was considering increasing production to use excess feedstock left by the cancellation of a joint project by Qatar Petroleum and Shell.

Oman’s index added 0.9 per cent while Kuwait edged up 0.4 per cent.