Several major Gulf stocks recovered early losses to close slightly higher on Thursday. This is mainly due to regional investors’ consistent optimism despite weak US consumer data and global recession fears, reported Al-Rai newspaper. In addition, Chinese data showed that China’s economy grew by only 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

Moreover, oil also underperformed before recovering slightly, bringing Brent crude futures to USD 85.34 a barrel by 1415 GMT. The Saudi index rose 0.2 percent, supported by a 2.1 percent rise in the Arab National Bank. Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco rose 0.2 percent and the Dubai index rose 0.1 percent, supported by a 2 percent jump in shares of Emirates Central Cooling Systems, as well as a 0.7 percent rise in Emaar Properties. In addition, the Qatari index jumped 2.1 percent, ending losses over seven sessions, with almost all its shares turning higher. The report added that the shares of Qatar National Bank rose 3.5 percent after recording losses in most sessions this week.

On the other hand, the Egyptian index of leading stocks rose 0.5 percent, continuing its rise since Wednesday. However, the Abu Dhabi index fell 0.5 percent, affected by the continued decline in shares of First Abu Dhabi Bank to close down 0.6 percent.

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