The Dubai stock market rose for a third straight day on Thursday because of bargain-hunting in beaten-down real estate stocks, while Egypt gained for a fourth straight day.
In Dubai, the index rose 1.0 percent with Emaar Development jumping 7.6 percent. Union Properties and Dubai Investments, which have been trading at multi-year lows, added 7.4 percent and 2.3 percent respectively.
Beyond property stocks, DXB Entertainment rose 10.4 percent in its biggest gain since March 2016.
There has been no clear sign of a pick-up in Dubai's sluggish real estate market but low valuations are encouraging some investors to return to stocks, with the Dubai index trading at about 7.3 times trailing earnings compared to 12.5 times for the MSCI emerging market index. Trading volumes in Dubai on Thursday were the highest since early September.
Real estate stocks also helped Egypt's blue-chip index gain; it rose 1.1 percent with Talaat Mostafa Group adding 5.7 percent.
Global Telecom climbed 4.4 percent after the Egyptian exchange said Moon Capital Partners Master Fund had acquired 34.4 million shares of the company for 109.9 million pounds ($6.15 million). The stock had surged 6.9 percent on Wednesday, when the exchange said it was block-traded without naming the buyer.
El Sewedy Electric dropped 1.2 percent; it had jumped 6.5 percent in the last half-hour of trading on Wednesday after it provided details of a deal to participate in construction of a dam in Tanzania.
The Saudi index gained 0.3 percent with real estate firm Jabal Omar rising 2.6 percent and Saudi Telecom Company climbing 2.0 percent.
Dallah Healthcare was up 4.4 percent after its board recommended a capital increase to 750 million riyals ($200 million) and proposed a first-half cash dividend of 1.5 riyals.
Insurer Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance jumped 9.9 percent after shareholders approved a 200 million riyal rights issue. Amana Cooperative Insurance, which itself has called a board meeting on Dec. 25 to approve a 100 million riyals rights issue, surged 9.9 percent.
On the Saudi parallel market known as Nomu, contracting company Al Kathiri Holding jumped 7.8 percent after it signed a memorandum of understanding with Spain's Constructora D'Aro to obtain a concession to build tridimensional concrete structures, and to establish a factory for them in Saudi Arabia.
The Abu Dhabi index gained 0.5 percent with Aldar Properties adding 5.2 percent.
Energy firm Dana Gas soared 8.4 percent after saying its production had reached 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), up from 62,250 boepd in the first nine months of 2018. It plans to invest in further increases.
Qatar's main index snapped a three-day losing streak as it edged 0.2 percent higher. Qatar National Bank, the Middle East's biggest lender, gained 0.8 percent and Industries Qatar rose 1.0 percent.
The index rose 0.3 percent to 7,914 points
The index rose 1 percent to 2,599 points
The index was up 0.5 percent at 4,862 points
The index was up 0.2 percent at 10,456 points
The index was up 1.1 percent at 12,997 points
The index was flat at 5,388 points
The index fell 0.1 percent to 1,319 points
The index was down 0.8 percent at 4,448 points