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Most major Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Thursday amid rising oil prices, with the Saudi index on track for a third straight weekly gain.

Oil prices reversed previous losses as a bigger-than-expected draw in US gasoline and distillate stocks prompted buying.

The uptick was also supported by expectations that soaring natural gas prices as winter approaches will drive a switch to oil to meet heating demand.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.2%, with Yanbu National Petrochemicals Co advancing 4.8% and petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries adding 0.9%.

Fitch Ratings on Wednesday said the impact of the pandemic on Saudi Arabian banks had been contained.

Dubai's main share index inched up 0.1%, with Emirates NBD Bank rising 0.4%, while Mashreq Bank leapt about 4% as the lender sought shareholder approval to increase share capital.

The United Arab Emirates said non-oil foreign trade rose by 27% in the first half of 2021 to 900 billion dirhams ($245.04 billion), state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

The Qatari benchmark climbed 0.5%, bolstered by a 0.9% rise in the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank and a 0.6% increase in Qatar Islamic Bank.

In Abu Dhabi, the index, however, eased 0.1%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank losing 0.5%.

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