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DUBAI: Gulf stock markets opened higher on Monday, mirroring gains in Asian shares, although the Saudi index bucked the trend.

Asian shares edged higher led by China, which also helped US stock futures pare early losses, while Brent oil prices extended their bull run to levels last seen in late 2018.

In Abu Dhabi, the index rose 0.5%, buoyed by a 3.5% rise in Alpha Dhabi Holding.

Dubai's main share index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 0.8% gain in Emirates NBD Bank and a 0.5% rise in shopping centre operator Emaar Malls.

Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties on Monday announced that shareholders had approved an all-share merger with Emaar Malls.

Shares of Emaar Properties were flat, however.

The Qatari index added 0.3%, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar rising 1.3% and Qatar National Bank (QNB) up 0.4%.

QNB, the Gulf's biggest lender, posted an 8% increase in nine-month net profit to 10.3 billion Qatari riyals ($2.83 billion), citing loan growth.

Loans and advances grew 7% in the period while total assets rose 10% to 1,084 billion riyals, it said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index was flat in early trade as gains in financial shares offset losses in petrochemicals.

But shares in Saudi Arabian renewable energy utility ACWA Power International jumped 30% on their market debut after a $1.2 billion IPO, the kingdom's biggest since Saudi Aramco's massive public offering in 2019.

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