Dubai index leads gains in major stock markets in GCC

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Major stock markets in the Gulf rose early on Sunday amid firmer oil prices as investors focused on the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, with the Dubai index leading the gains.

Brent crude on Friday settled up 76 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $52.26 a barrel after touching $52.48, its highest since March.

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Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index traded 0.3 percent higher, with petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries among the gainers.

The Kingdom’s economy shrank more slowly in the third quarter as the government eased some coronavirus restrictions, but the pandemic-hit oil sector continued to struggle, data showed on Thursday.

Dubai’s main share index rose 1.1 percent, buoyed by a 12.4 percent jump in DAMAC Properties and a 2.3 percent increase in Emaar Properties.

DAMAC called a board meeting on Wednesday to discuss and consider a potential acquisition.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.5 percent, with the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 0.8 percent.

The Qatari index advanced 1 percent, on track to end two sessions of losses, led by a 1.6 percent gain in sharia-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan and a 1.2 percent rise in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar.

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