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DUBAI: Stock exchanges in the United Arab Emirates closed higher on Friday on the possibility of nearing Gaza ceasefire, which will stabilize the economic activities in the region and ease shipping disruptions in the Red Sea.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday “the gaps are narrowing” in talks in Doha toward an agreement on the release of hostages and a ceasefire in Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

The United States will ask the UN Security Council on Friday to back a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an Israel-Hamas hostage deal, increasing pressure on its ally Israel to allow more humanitarian aid and better protect civilians.

Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index up 0.4%, gaining for the fifth straight session, lifted by a 1.8% jump in UAE’s third-largest lender Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Market heavyweights First Abu Dhabi Bank and International Holding Company added 0.6% and 0.15, respectively.

Abu Dhabi Ports gained 1% after the firm acquired a 60% stake in the Tbilisi Dry Port.

Oil prices - a key contributor to Gulf’s economies - were up 0.14% at $85.90 a barrel by 1111 GMT.

Dubai’s main index settled 0.1% higher amid a volatile session, helped by a 1.6% rise in Dubai Islamic Bank and a 1.8% jump in Emirates Central Cooling Systems.

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