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Thu 18 Feb 2016 11:33 AM

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Gulf stocks rise on higher oil

GFH Financial gained 2.4 percent after Abu Dhabi Financial Group's capital markets arm raised its stake in the company

Gulf stocks rise on higher oil

Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Thursday in response to strength in oil prices and global equity markets, though they quickly came off their highs.

The Dubai index was up 1.1 percent at 3,092 points after an hour of trade, but pulled back after nearing minor technical resistance at the February peak of 3,125 points. Second-tier property stocks were major gainers with Deyaar, the most heavily traded stock, up 2.0 percent.

GFH Financial gained 2.4 percent. It had risen 1.4 percent on Wednesday after Abu Dhabi Financial Group's capital markets arm, Integrated Capital, said it had increased its stake in GFH to 10 percent. Previously its stake was 7.4 percent, according to bourse data.

Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.5 percent as Aldar Properties climbed 2.9 percent.

Qatar rose 0.9 percent as drilling rig provider Gulf International Services added 2.1 percent. Barwa Real Estate rose 3.0 percent.

Markets reacted calmly to Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade the credit ratings of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman overnight. Bahrain's index rose 0.4 percent; Oman gained 0.7 percent. The Saudi market had not yet opened.