MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets firm on rising oil prices

Dec 22 (Reuters)Most major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Thursday, as oil prices extended gains for a fourth session although global economic concerns limited gains.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index .TASI edged 0.1% higher, helped by a 0.3% increase in oil giant Saudi Aramco 2222.SE.

Oil prices – a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – climbed for a fourth straight day with US crude, heating oil and jet fuel stocks growing tighter just as a cold snap hits the United States and travel is set to soar for the holiday season.

In Abu Dhabi, the index .FTFADGI added 0.1%, helped by a 0.6% increase in the country’s biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS firmed 1.5%, after an upbeat reading on US consumers cheered Wall Street investors.

The Qatari index .QSI advanced 0.3%, on course to extend gains from the previous session, led by a 1.1% rise in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar IQCD.QA.

The country, among the world’s top exporters of liquefied natural gas, approved its 2023 fiscal year budget on Monday with revenue estimated to increase 16.3% next year, its finance minister said, thanks to rising average oil prices.

The budget was based on an oil-price assumption of $65 per barrel, compared with 2022’s assumption of $55.

Dubai’s main share index .DFMGI eased 0.2%, hit by a 1.1% fall in top lender Emirates NBD ENBD.DU.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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