The majority of Gulf stock indexes rose in early trading on Tuesday, led by gains in banking shares as fears of banking contagion eased and China’s demand recovery improved investor sentiment.
Oil prices, which are a major driver for Gulf economies, fell 19 cents to $77.93 a barrel by 0651 GMT on Tuesday after rallying the previous session.
The prices are likely to draw support from indications of demand recovery as China’s crude imports are expected to rise 6.2% to 540 million tonnes in 2023, according to an annual forecast by a research unit of China National Petroleum Corp on Monday.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index added 0.6%, led by banking stocks, with Riyad Bank advancing 1.2% and Bank AlJazira gaining 0.7%.
State oil giant and index heavyweight Saudi Aramco was also up 0.5%.
Dubai’s main share index advanced 1.1%, snapping a three-day losing streak, lifted by solid gains in banking and property stocks.
Emirates NBD Bank, Dubai’s largest lender, climbed 1.6%, while blue-chip developer Emaar Properties was up 1.5%.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index edged up 0.3% after three consecutive sessions of declines, led by a 1.7% boost in UAE’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 2.5% jump in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
The benchmark stock index in Qatar also gained 0.8%, with all the constituent stocks trading higher, led by financial and energy shares.
Masraf Al Rayan, the sharia-compliant lender, added 2.1%, while Qatar Gas Transport Nakilat was up 2.9%.