Gulf bourses open higher, follow lead of Asian markets

Most Gulf stock markets edged up in early trade on Monday after emerging market equities rose sharply in Asia.

Saudi Arabia’s stock index gained 0.4 per cent as Emaar the Economic City (EEC) jumped 7.9 per cent in unusually heavy trade.

The stock had risen 3.5 per cent on Sunday, when Reuters quoted a source as saying Saudi Arabia’s top sovereign fund, the Public Investment Fund, was in talks to invest in King Abdullah Economic City, the huge project being developed by EEC.

Middle East Healthcare added 2.5 per cent after saying Saudi tax authorities have agreed to its request for a 13.6-million Saudi riyal tax credit.

In Dubai, the index edged up 0.2 per cent. Property firm Deyaar gained 1.3 per cent after saying it had started work on a Dubai hotel project.

Abu Dhabi’s index climbed 0.7 per cent, supported by rebounds in blue-chip lenders First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, which were each up more than 1.5 per cent.

Qatar’s index fell 0.4 per cent, however, as stocks pulled back across the board, with Industries Qatar falling 1.3 per cent after gaining 1.5 per cent on Sunday.

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