May 21, 2017 / 5:33 AM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Strong oil, global bourses may aid Gulf

DUBAI, May 21 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets may have a firm tone on Sunday after oil and global bourses rose at the end of last week, though the recent pattern of thin trading volumes looks likely to limit any gains.

Brent oil closed on Friday at $53.71 a barrel, up 2.3 percent on the day, while MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.7 percent.

Technically, Saudi Arabia's stock index has been consolidating in a range of 6,710 to 7,193 points since mid-January and shows no sign of breaking out of that pattern.

Dubai's index has been in a gradual downtrend since early April, but a positive 14-day momentum divergence at last week's low suggests that downtrend may be ending.

In Dubai, Gulf Navigation may attract some interest after reporting that first-quarter net profit grew 39 percent from a year ago to 8.8 million dirhams ($2.4 million).

It said: "The company is witnessing a significant improvement in its performance, successful settlement of legal cases and entering into various global partnerships to strengthen its competitive position in the marine sector." (Reporting by Andrew Torchia)

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