DUBAI Feb 16 Stock markets in the Gulf edged
slightly higher in morning trade on Thursday as global shares
held near highs and crude oil prices traded near their average
over the past month.
Saudi Arabia's index was up 0.4 percent after 50
minutes of trade with the majority of oil-linked shares
advancing. Saudi Basic Industries, the largest
producer, rose 1.0 percent.
Shares often traded by local day traders were also up.
Insurer Al Ahlia Cooperative Insurance jumped 3.3
Dubai's index rose 0.3 percent.
Loss-making builder Arabtec and Drake & Scull
firmed, making up roughly half of the number of the 104
million trades. Arabtec climbed 2.0 percent and DSI was up 0.2
Earlier this week both companies reported a net loss in the
Abu Dhabi's index was up 0.5 percent as Dana Gas
climbed 2.0 percent. Earlier this week the commodities
company said a consortium including it was awarded $121 million
in a dispute with the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Most large-cap banking shares were bid up, with First Gulf
Bank rising 1.1 percent.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and John