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DUBAI: Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Sunday, with the Saudi index leading the gains, reflecting a positive tone following the annual central banks' symposium and a rise in oil prices.

"GCC markets should progress in positive territory this week as they react to the US Federal Reserve chairman intervention at the Jackson Hole symposium on Friday," said Wael Makarem senior market strategist at Exness.

"Investors were relieved to hear that the US central bank will not taper its asset purchases program soon and that interest rate hikes were not in the line of sight for the moment."

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 0.5%, with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 1.2%, while Alinma Bank advanced 2.3%.

Brent crude oil futures rose $1.63, or 2.3%, to settle at $72.70 a barrel on Friday for the biggest weekly gain in more than a year as energy companies began shutting US production in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a major hurricane expected to make landfall this week.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.4%, led by a 4.9% jump in Alpha Dhabi Holding.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) said on Saturday it would halve its trading commissions to 0.025% from 0.05% from Sept. 1, the exchange's second commission cut this year and the third in three years.

Dubai's main share index traded flat as gains in property shares were offset by declines in financial stocks.

Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties closed 1% higher.

Emaar properties stock price should see further gains in the coming weeks to months as the real estate market continues to improve in Dubai and elsewhere and as the economic revival remains strong, added Makarem.

The Qatari benchmark fell 0.2%, hit by a 0.5% fall in Qatar Islamic Bank.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index eased 0.1%, weighed down by a 0.8% fall in top lender Commercial International Bank Egypt.

SAUDI ARABIA rose 0.5% to 11,180

ABU DHABI gained 0.4% to 7,652

DUBAI was flat at 2,901

QATAR lost 0.2% to 11,082

EGYPT fell 0.1% to 11,114

BAHRAIN was flat at 1,666

OMAN up 0.1% to 3,966

KUWAIT added 0.4% to 7,478.

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