May 11, 2017 / 5:47 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks may rise on oil price climb above $50

DUBAI, May 11 (Reuters) - Gulf equities are likely to rise on Thursday as oil prices edge up, while the final batch of quarterly results from Saudi Arabia may also drive market sentiment.

Brent crude contracts were trading at $50.48 a barrel, climbing 0.52 percent from Wednesday, after trading below $50 since Friday. More institutional funds may favour Gulf equities by oil’s increase above $50.

Thursday is the last day for Saudi companies to report interim earnings. The market has not reacted hugely to results so far, with the exception of some stocks like Fawaz Alhokair and Zain Saudi after their earnings came in ahead of expectations.

Shares in Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA), the state-controlled oil explorer and power supplier, may rise after the company swung to a tiny profit in the first quarter due to higher commodity prices.

TAQA, 75 percent owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, made a net profit attributable to equity holders of 77 million dirhams ($21 million) in the three months to March 31, compared with a net loss of 608 million dirhams a year ago, the statement said. ($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham) (Reporting By Tom Arnold; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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