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MIDEAST STOCKS-Firmer oil prices push up Gulf slightly
December 18, 2016 / 8:18 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Firmer oil prices push up Gulf slightly

DUBAI, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf made small gains on Sunday morning after crude oil prices climbed back towards 17-month highs at the end of last week.

Brent futures rose 2.2 percent to settle at $55.21 a barrel on Friday after Goldman Sachs boosted its price forecast for 2017 and producers showed signs of adhering to a global deal to reduce output.

Saudi Arabian petrochemical shares were bid up in the first hour of trade with all but one of the 14 listed producers advancing, pulling the main Saudi stock index 0.3 percent higher. Top producer Saudi Basic Industries added 0.5 percent.

Commodities transportation company National Shipping Co (Bahri) climbed 1.9 percent after it announced its board had proposed a cash dividend cash of 2.5 riyals per share for 2016, in line with 2015. Its dividend yield is at 6.0 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Dubai’s main index added 0.6 percent with gainers outnumbering losers 17 to one. Some of Thursday’s top decliners recovered with Emaar Malls Group adding 1.5 percent.

NBAD Securities said in a note that traders might look to book partial gains on stocks that rallied recently and shift to those staging fresh breakouts.

Blue chips helped carry Abu Dhabi’s index 0.9 percent higher. Dana Gas jumped 3.7 percent and First Gulf Bank rose 2.4 percent.

Stock markets in Bahrain and Qatar were closed for national holidays. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and John Stonestreet)

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