Gulf stocks rebound strongly as oil price steadies

Dubai Financial Market Index - which had been the region’s biggest loser - rose 11.5 percent

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Gulf stock markets rebounded strongly on Thursday as world oil prices steadied after plumbing multi-year lows, calming investor jitters.

Dubai Financial Market Index -- which had been the region’s biggest loser -- rose 11.5 percent and was trading on 3,381.99 points.

Market leader Emaar Properties gained 13.6 percent, while construction giant Arabtec added 14 percent.

Dubai had shed a massive 32.6 percent since Nov. 27, when the OPEC oil cartel decided to maintain output levels, intensifying the price slide.

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange was up 6.75 percent to trade on 4,366.95 percent.

The Arab world's largest exchange, the Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index, gained 5.8 percent to pass the 8,000-point psychological barrier on 8,081.76 points.

Market sentiment there was further boosted by the Saudi government’s decision to tap into its huge fiscal reserves to maintain high spending, despite the fall in revenues resulting from the low oil price.

Muscat Securities Exchange rose 3.76 percent to 5,688.83 points, while Kuwait Stock Exchange added 1.3 percent to reach 6,195.94 points

The tiny Bahrain bourse gained 0.6 percent. Qatar Exchange, the Gulf’s second largest, was closed for a national holiday.

Investor sentiment improved after oil prices rallied slightly on Wednesday, taking benchmark Brent crude for February delivery above the $60 mark.

Oil prices were little changed in Asia Thursday after data showed US stockpiles dipping.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for January delivery fell 27 cents to $56.20, while Brent rose two cents to $61.20 in afternoon trade.

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