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Sun 6 Mar 2016 11:36 AM

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Gulf markets surge as oil nears $39

Shares in construction firm Arabtec surged 8% in the first hour of trade, while Dana Gas climbed 5.9%

Gulf markets surge as oil nears $39
(Getty Images)

Rising oil prices boosted stock markets in the Gulf early on Sunday, with construction firm Arabtec leading Dubai's market up and Dana Gas jumping in Abu Dhabi.

Shares in Arabtec surged 8.0 percent in the first hour of trade after a similar rise on Thursday. They have been swinging wildly in speculative trade since exchange data at the start of last week showed former chief executive Hasan Ismaik had raised his stake in the company to 11.91 percent from 11.81 percent. But his stake has not grown since then.

Other speculative shares favoured by local traders also attracted volume with builder Drake & Scull and Islamic investment firm Amlak Finance each advancing over 3.5 percent. Dubai's index was up 2.4 percent.

Moody's put the debt ratings of the UAE and three other Gulf states on review for possible downgrade late on Friday. But many investors saw this as a belated response to old news, and focused instead on oil's rebound near $39 a barrel in the past couple of weeks.

Abu Dhabi's benchmark gained 2.7 percent as Dana Gas, the most heavily traded stock, climbed 5.9 percent. Real estate developers also rose with Eshraq Properties and RAK Properties adding 5.4 and 1.6 percent respectively.

Qatar's stock market is closed for a public holiday.