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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatari stocks rise as Gulf tensions ease, Dubai extends gain

Jan 5 (Reuters) - Qatar’s stock market rose sharply in early Tuesday trade, buoyed by an easing in the Gulf’s more than three-year diplomatic rift, while Dubai climbed for a third session amid growth in the United Arab Emirates’ non-oil private sectors.

Saudi Arabia agreed to reopen its airspace and land and sea border to Qatar in a deal towards resolving a dispute that led Riyadh and its allies to impose a boycott on Qatar in 2017.

A Gulf Arab summit will be held later on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia to discuss steps towards ending the diplomatic row. Qatar’s ruling Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will attend the summit.

“This is a long awaited outcome, and I see it as positive step towards dispute resolution. We should see significant cost saving for some Qatari companies on the fuel and logistics side,” said Joice Mathew, senior research manager at United Securities.

The Qatari index rose 1.8%, with all constituents trading in the green.

Industries Qatar led the gains with a 3.3% jump, while the Gulf’s largest lender, Qatar National Bank, added 2.2%.

Among property stocks, Barwa Real Estae was up 1.2%.

In Saudi Arabia, the index was up 0.2%. Consumer food and beverage company Almarai climbed 3.8%, while the country’s largest lender, National Commercial Bank , was up 0.6%.

The Dubai index was up 0.7%, with Emaar Properties advancing 2.7% in its third straight rise. Dubai Islamic Bank gained 0.6%.

Activity in the United Arab Emirates’ non-oil private sector grew in December as its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which covers manufacturing and services, rose to 51.2 in December from 49.5 in November, a survey showed. The 50.0-mark separates growth from contraction

Abu Dhabi’s index was down 0.2%, with Abu Dhabi Bank shedding 0.2%. (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru. Editing by Mark Potter)

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