DUBAI: Stock markets in the Gulf were mixed in early trade on Wednesday after oil's rebound late on Tuesday turned out to be short-lived, keeping investors guessing about where the commodity will find a floor.
Brent crude dropped about $1 to around $66 a barrel on Wednesday morning on persistent oversupply worries. Dubai's stock index rose 1.2 percent after dropping as much as 1.4 percent shortly after the opening.
The benchmark lost 9.2 percent earlier this month in a broad sell-off which may now have attracted bargain-hunters. Builder Arabtec led the rebound, surging 6.5 percent to 3.62 dirhams.
The stock hit a five-month low of 3.28 dirhams during the previous session. Dubai Parks and Resort which listed on Wednesday, traded at 0.875 dirham, well below its initial public offer price of 1.00 dirham, indicating that retail investors were in no rush to open new positions.
Abu Dhabi's bourse edged up 0.4 percent on the back of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which climbed 3.0 percent Qatar's index fell 0.6 percent with most stocks in the red, while Kuwait's benchmark was almost flat.
Oman's market edged down 0.3 percent. The country's Shura Council, an advisory body to the government, approved a proposal to totally ban alcohol in the country, including for tourist establishments, Omani media reported.
It is unclear whether the cabinet will actually take that step, or when it will consider the proposal, but a ban could hit the tourist industry.