Dubai leads major Gulf bourses higher

Traders wait at the Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Oct 4 (Reuters) - Major stock markets in the Gulf registered strong gains in early trade on Tuesday, tracking Asian shares and oil prices higher, with Dubai bourse leading the gains on prospect of changes in indices.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) rose 1.7%, led by gains in Australia, after Britain scrapped bits of a controversial tax cut plan, tentatively improving global market sentiment and rallying bonds and the pound.

Crude prices edged higher as expectations that OPEC+ may agree to a large cut in crude output when it meets on Wednesday offset concerns about the global economy.

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) climbed 1.5%, buoyed by a 2.3% leap in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) and a 1.7% increase in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU).

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) (DFM.DU) said on Monday it planned to adopt a new methodology for its main equities indices, which will come into effect in the fourth quarter.

The Dubai bourse's general index, Sharia index and sector indices, will be calculated by S&P Dow Jones Indices, it said in a statement.

The changes follow a flurry of initial public offerings from state-linked entities this year, part of a government programme intended to attract investors and boost activity on the stock exchange.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) gained 0.9%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) climbing 1%.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) added 1.1%, led by a 1.6% rise in Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE).

The kingdom's non-oil private sector growth remained solid in September helped by a relatively strong pickup in output and new orders, albeit at a slower pace than in August as confidence softened, a survey showed on Tuesday. read more

The Qatari index (.QSI) was up 1.5%, as all the stocks on the index were in positive territory with Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA) putting on more than 2%.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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