Major stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Thursday, supported by a rebound in oil prices, but the Egyptian index bucked the trend to close lower.
Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were up 18 cents, or 0.25%, at $72.40 a barrel by 1024 GMT, holding just shy of a high not seen since May 2019.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) edged up 0.1%, extending gains for the fourth consecutive session, with Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) rising 0.6% and Riyad Bank (1010.SE) ending 1% higher.
Separately, Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, said on Tuesday it has established two deputy governor roles to support the $430 billion fund's continued growth and expansion. read more
The fund is expected to inject at least $40 billion annually into the local economy until 2025, and increase its assets to $1 trillion by then.
In Dubai, the index (.DFMGI) gained 0.4%, driven by a 1.1% rise in its top lender Emirates NBD Bank (ENBD.DU) and a 0.4% increase in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU).
Abu Dhabi's main share index (.ADI) added 0.1%, extending gains to a fifth day in a row, helped by a 0.4% hike in aquaculture firm International Holding (IHC.AD) and a 0.1% gain in lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) (FAB.AD).
Elsewhere, Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala said on Tuesday it has joined a consortium led by U.S.-based EIG Global Energy Partners that had agreed to buy a 49% equity stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Co. read more
Boosted by financials shares, Qatar's index (.QSI) also rose 0.3%, with Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank (QNB)(QNBK.QA) climbing 1.7% and petrochemical maker Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA) advancing 0.8%.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) ended 0.6% lower as the country's largest lender, Commercial International Bank (COMI.CA) slid 1.7%, and tobacco monopoly Eastern Company (EAST.CA) fell 0.8%.
($1 = 3.6415 Qatar riyals)
($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham)
($1 = 3.7511 riyals)