DUBAI: Major stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Tuesday, helped by rising oil prices on brighter demand outlook, with the Saudi index leading the gains.

Brent crude oil futures were up $1.09, or 1.6%, at $69.84 a barrel by 1223 GMT, on a bullish demand outlook as Mexico suffered a big production outage and US regulators issued their first full approval for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.7%, with Al Rajhi Bank and oil behemoth Saudi Aramco climbing 0.5% and 0.9%, respectively.

Most Saudi sectors were up, with pharmaceuticals buoyed by the news that the US drug administration had approved the Pfizer vaccine, said Wael Makarem, senior market strategist for the region at Exness.

Dubai's main share index gained 0.6%, led by a 1.5% rise in top lender Emirates NBD and 0.7% increase in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

Dubai's residential property prices are expected to rise modestly over the next couple of years, according to a Reuters poll of housing analysts.

In Abu Dhabi, the index traded flat, as a rise in energy firm Dana Gas offset a 0.7% slide in telecoms firm Etisalat, while conglomerate International Holding Co (IHC) edged up 0.1%.

IHC, Abu Dhabi's most valuable listed company, is considering acquisitions across several sectors totalling a few billion dollars, including a real estate developer in Abu Dhabi, its chief executive Syed Basar Shueb told Reuters.

The Qatari index added 0.3%, with Commercial Bank rising 1.2%.

The lender borrowed $875 million to refinance existing debt and support general funding requirements, it said in a stock exchange filing on Monday.

Among other gainers, Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan added 0.6%.

On Monday, the bank announced buying additional 5% stake in Al Rayan (UK) Ltd from Qatar Holing.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.6%, extending gains from the previous session.

Egypt will vaccinate all 4.5 million of its state employees against COVID-19 in August and September as it seeks to accelerate vaccinations ahead of a likely fourth wave of infections, the health minister said on Monday.

SAUDI ARABIA up 0.7% to 11,141

ABU DHABI was flat at 7,682

DUBAI rose 0.6% to 2,904

QATAR gained 0.3% to 11,166

EGYPT rose 0.6% to 10,950

BAHRAIN was up 0.4% to 1,648

OMAN lost 0.1% to 3,956

KUWAIT added 0.6% to 7,329.


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