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Middle East stock markets rose on Thursday boosted by energy and commodity linked assets as oil prices neared $120 a barrel and the cost of other resources soared.

The Ukraine war has triggered a dash for commodities that could be in short supply, while stock markets slipped as investors worried about higher inflation and slowing economic growth.

Brent crude oil is now up nearly 20% on the week, while everything from coal to natural gas and aluminium are surging as Western nations tighten sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Russia calls its actions a "special operation".

"Sanctions are pushing oil importers to look elsewhere for supplies at a time when the market is already struggling with rising demand and the sluggish supply policy laid out by OPEC," said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss.

Dubai gains over 2pc; Saudi Aramco hits record high

Saudi Arabia's benchmark share index ended 0.8% higher, with gains driven by Saudi Aramco which rose to a record high of 45 riyals and ended the session up nearly 3%.

Dubai's main index rose for the fifth consecutive session with gains of 0.4%. Heavyweights Emirates NBD Bank and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company boosted the index.

Abu Dhabi's index was up 0.7%, while the Qatari index rose 0.2%. Industries Qatar was the top percentage gainer, and closed the session up 3%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index gained 1%.

SAUDI ARABIA up 0.8% to 12,756

ABU DHABI rose 0.7% to 9,745

DUBAI added 0.4% to 3,482

QATAR rose 0.2% to 13,463

EGYPT gained 1% to 11,306

BAHRAIN was up 0.3% to 1,976

OMAN rose 1.9% to 4,134

KUWAIT gained 0.8% to 8,599

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