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Major Gulf Markets Gain in Early Trade

Jan 20 (Reuters) - Most major Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Monday, in line with Asian peers, with the Saudi index holding steady at its highest since July 2006 hit last week.

Asian share markets snapped a five-day slide, as China underscored its diverging monetary and economic picture by cutting benchmark mortgage rates.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.2%, holding steady at its highest in more than 15 years, with Saudi Arabian Mining Co advancing 2.6%.

An underwhelming bond sale by investors in Aramco's oil pipelines points to new risks for longer tenor deals from the Gulf, especially unconventional structures, as investors become more selective amid ample supply and worries over a more hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve. 

Shares of Aramco were flat.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.2%, helped by a 0.5% rise in telecoms giant Etisalat.

The United Arab Emirates is committed to support OPEC+ in achieving balance in the oil market, the state news agency WAM quoted Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei as saying on Wednesday. 

Dubai's main share index edged up 0.1%, with Emirates Integrated Telecommunications increasing 1.7%.

Shares of Aramex climbed more than 3%, after Abu Dhabi government-owned holding company ADQ transferred a 22.32% stake in the firm to Abu Dhabi Ports. 

The Qatari index fell 0.8%, weighed down by a 7.7% slide in Commercial Bank despite reporting a rise in annual profit.

Oil slipped as investors took profits following a month-long rally in prices, but strong demand and short-term supply disruptions continue to support prices close to their highest levels since late 2014.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

Source: Reuters

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