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Most major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Tuesday in response to higher oil prices and strong earnings, although the Abu Dhabi index bucked the trend.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 0.6%, led by a 5.8% jump in Alinma Bank following a rise in quarterly net profit.

The lender - which hit its highest level since Nov. 9 - reported second-quarter net profit of 1.23 billion riyals ($327.94 million), up from 925.1 million riyals year ago.

Oil prices - a key catalyst for the Gulf financial markets - edged higher for a third straight session, as signs of tighter supplies and pledges by Chinese authorities to shore up the economy lifted sentiment.

In China, the world’s second-largest economy and second-biggest oil consumer, leaders pledged to step up policy support for the economy amid a tortuous post-COVID recovery, focusing on boosting domestic demand.

Dubai’s benchmark index added 0.2%, with top lender Emirates NBD gaining 1.5%. In Qatar, the index advanced 0.9%, as most of the stocks were in positive territory including Commercial Bank , which was up 2.8%.

Qatari telecoms company Ooredoo, Kuwait’s Zain Group and Dubai-based TASC Towers Holding have entered into exclusive talks to create the Middle East and North Africa’s largest tower company, they said in a joint statement on Monday. Ooredoo climbed 1.7%, although Zain Group eased 0.2%.

Most Gulf markets rise on solid corporate earnings; Egypt slips

In Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.1%, hit by a 0.1% fall in the country’s biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

However, Sharjah Islamic Bank leapt 4.9%, hitting its highest level since June 2008, after the bank posted a 36.7% jump in half-yearly net profit.

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