The Saudi Tadawul index rose more than 1 per cent on buying in banks. The benchmark index closed 1.01 per cent higher at 8,766.33.

“The foreign flows continue to come in. Today there was buying seen in banking stocks,” said Muhammad Shabbir, Head of Funds and Portfolios at Saudi Kuwaiti Finance House (SKFH) said. “If you are not in the market now you are losing a lot. Sentiment is upbeat and we expect it to continue,” Shabbir said.

Al Rajhi Bank closed 2,33 per cent higher at 105.60 riyals. Saudi Basic Industries Corp. closed 0.65 per cent higher at 124.20 riyals. Alinma Bank closed 2.88 per cent lower at 24.26 riyals.

Traders in the UAE were unwilling to take fresh positions on absence of any fundamental news even as dividend season neared its end.

Traded value was at Dh234 million on Wednesday. The Dubai index ended flat as the weakness from Emaar was offset by strong Emirates NBD.

The Dubai Financial Market general index closed 0.03 per cent lower at 2,614.35. Emaar Properties closed 1.71 per cent lower at Dh4.60. Emirates NBD closed 1.51 per cent higher at Dh10.1.

“Real Estate is still looking bleak despite the reported increase in transactions; investors have been looking at balance sheets monitoring growth in receivables and recorded drops in cash balances,” Issam Kassabieh, Senior Financial Analyst at Menacorp said. Damac Properties closed 0.76 per cent higher at Dh1.33. “Investors will watch out for movement in Damac Properties’ stock ahead of its board meeting which will also include a discussion over Damac’s international arm,” Kassabieh said.

In other stocks, DP World closed nearly 1 per cent higher at Dh16. Aramex closed 0.21 per cent lower at Dh4.79. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed 0.34 per cent lower at 5,109.42.

Aldar Properties closed half a per cent higher at Dh1.92. First Abu Dhabi Bank closed 0.79 per cent lower at Dh15.10.

The Muscat MSM 30 index closed 0.02 per cent lower at 4,047.32. The Qatar exchange index closed 1.71 per cent higher at 10,105.06. The Kuwait all share index closed 0.48 per cent lower at 5,538.28.