The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) extended gains to a five-month high on Thursday, with property stocks generating the bulk of the buying interest.
The ADX added 0.17 per cent to 2,539.2, its highest close since September 27, to close a week of solid gains on the capital's index. Aldar Properties, the most traded stock by value and volume, climbed 3.77 per cent to Dh1.13 and Sorouh rose 0.9 per cent to Dh1.12.
"There is a lot of money on the sidelines at the moment and interest rates are low," said Chahir Hosni, equity sales manager at EFG-Hermes. "The Saudi market is driving gains in the region on rumours it may soon open up to foreigners while Egypt's bourse has also benefited from the improved political situation.
"In terms of the macro-backdrop, local markets have already factored in a lot of the negative news emanating from Europe, which is why we have been trading at low levels for some time. However, risk appetite is improving and the positive news will continue to have a strong impact on the market," he added.
Dana Gas dragged on the bourse, falling 2.04 per cent to Dh0.48. Of the 33 companies traded, 15 rose, 11 fell and seven closed unchanged. Some 160.6 million shares worth Dh191.3 million were traded.
Elsewhere in the region, Qatar's measure gained 0.46 per cent, Bahrain's bourse was little changed, Kuwait's gauge closed flat and Muscat's exchange edged 0.4 per cent higher.
Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share Index was closed for the weekend.
Meanwhile, Dubai shares extended gains to an almost ten-month high as small-caps continued their recent surge amid an improved appetite for risk among local investors.
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index gained 1.45 per cent to 1,632.27, its highest close since April 28, with Gulf Navigation driving gains on the bourse, climbing 14.29 per cent to Dh0.368. Union Properties jumped 7.4 per cent to Dh0.45 and Deyaar rose more than 13 per cent to Dh0.396.
It was a mixed day for blue chips with Arabtec, the most traded stock by value, adding 3.74 per cent to Dh3.05 and Emaar dropping 0.33 per cent to Dh3.04. Ports operator DP World slipped 0.88 per cent to $11.30 on Nasdaq Dubai.
"It has been a very strong week and the rally could continue for quite a while as the appetite for risk is much improved," said Chahir Hosni, equity sales manager at EFG-Hermes.
"However, even though the rally has been quite significant, we are coming from very low levels; the DFM has been an extremely depressed market for a long time. The main thing we are seeing across the region is a growing appetite for equities. At this time last year, it was almost non-existent," he added.
Brent crude rose to its highest price in more than nine months in London. Of the 29 companies traded, 20 rose, eight fell and one closed unchanged. Some 564.4 million shares worth Dh440.3 million were traded.