December 27, 2017 / 8:21 AM / in a year

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises on oil price surge, most of Gulf little changed

DUBAI, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose in early trade on Wednesday as petrochemical shares climbed on the back of an overnight surge in the Brent oil price above $67 a barrel for the first time since May 2015. Other Gulf bourses were little changed.

The Saudi stock index added 0.5 percent in the first 45 minutes as the top petrochemical stock, Saudi Basic Industries, rose 1.0 percent.

Construction firms were also strong on hopes that higher oil revenues would give the government money to boost infrastructure spending next year; Khodari < 1330.SE> rose 1.3 percent.

Dubai’s index, historically much less sensitive to oil prices, edged up only 0.1 percent. Al Safwa Mubasher Financial Services, which rarely trades, was by far the most heavily traded stock, dropping 10 percent to 0.999 dirham as 268 million shares changed hands, almost half the total number of its shares.

The company did not issue a statement about the heavy volume and company officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Abu Dhabi’s index edged up 0.3 percent as Dana Gas Gas surged 3.9 percent, while Qatar firmed 0.2 percent as drilling rig provider Gulf International Services , a possible beneficiary of a stronger oil industry, gained 3.2 percent. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

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