Gulf markets extend gains on rising oil prices

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by Reuters

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Gulf markets extend gains on rising oil prices

March 29 (Reuters) - Most major Gulf markets extended gains on Wednesday, mirroring a rise in global peers after sentiment was lifted by receding fears of a global banking crisis and rising oil prices.

Oil prices -- a key catalyst for gulf's financial markets -- rose for a third session on Wednesday as a halt to some exports from Iraqi Kurdistan raised concerns of tightening supply and as reduced banking worries aided sentiment.

Brent crude climbed 42 cents, or 0.5%, to $79.07 a barrel by 0802 GMT.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index (.TASI) edged up 0.1%, after trading flat in its two previous sessions, as the index was supported by gains in most sectors, led by healthcare and financials. Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services (4013.SE) added 2.3% and Al-Rajhi Bank rose 0.4%.

Among other stocks, grocery retailer Bindawood Holding Company (4161.SE) was up 3.7% after reporting a surge in its fourth-quarter net profit to 64.9 million riyals ($17.28 million), compared with a net profit of 13.2 million riyals ($3.52 million) a year earlier.

Celularity (CELU.O) on Tuesday announced an agreement with logistics firm AD PORTS for exclusive product distribution in various territories in GCC and Egypt.

Separately, Reuters on Tuesday reported through sources that Uber Technologies' Middle East subsidiary Careem is in advanced talks with Emirates Telecommunications Group (EAND.AD) to invest in its expansion into services beyond ride-hailing.

Emirates Telecommunications Group was down 0.3%.

The benchmark stock index (.QSI) in Qatar advanced 0.5%, in its second-day of gains on boost from financial and industrial stocks. Sharia-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan continued its surge for a third day to open nearly up 6%, while chemical makers Industries Qatar(IQCD.QA) jumped more than 3%.

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