Gulf stocks extend gains as oil rebounds; Dubai shares up 2.4%

Gulf markets tumbled below their 200-day averages in the final months of last year as the plunge in oil prices shattered retail investors' confidence. (Ashok Verma)

Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Thursday after oil rebounded slightly from its Wednesday low and global bourses rose.

Supported by a fall in US crude oil inventories, Brent futures traded above $51 per barrel on Thursday after briefly dropping below $50 in the previous session.

Dubai's equities index rose 2.4 per cent as almost all stocks gained.

Shares in bourse operator Dubai Financial Market surged 6 per cent after economy minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri said the UAE government would favour a merger of the main Abu Dhabi and Dubai bourses, although the decision was up to the exchanges themselves.

Other Gulf markets were also positive; Abu Dhabi's benchmark rose 1.2 per cent, Kuwait's index edged up 0.8 per cent and Oman climbed 0.3 per cent.

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