Most Gulf stock markets recovered Wednesday after four straight days of losses, even though oil prices, which have driven the slide, plumbed new multi-year lows.
The Saudi and Abu Dhabi bourses made a strong comeback, with Qatar and Oman also ending in positive territory. Dubai market shed early gains to close down, while Kuwait ended slightly lower.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index rose a healthy 4.2 percent to close on 7,638.9 points. That was driven by a 5.1 percent gain in the leading petrochemicals sector, led by chemicals giant SABIC, which increased 4.8 percent.
Statements by Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf that the kingdom will maintain high spending levels in next year's budget despite the fall of oil prices strongly boosted investor sentiment.
Like all Gulf states, the Saudi private sector heavily relies on government spending.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange closed at 4,090.99, 5.1 percent up on support from the investment sector, which rose 9.8 percent. It was one of the market's biggest single-day rises.
Qatar Exchange rose 1.1 percent to 11,181.65 while the small Muscat bourse added 1.35 percent .
Dubai Financial Market shed all gains posted at the start to close down 1.64 percent on 3,033.0 points after exhibiting high volatility throughout the day.
Since OPEC's November 27 decision to maintain production, Dubai has dropped a massive 32.6 percent.
The Bahraini exchange was closed for the second day of a national holiday.
Gulf stock markets had plunged in the previous four sessions as oil prices hit five-year lows, causing panic among investors.
Oil suffered fresh losses in Asian trade Wednesday, as dealers monitored the slide of the Russian ruble and awaited the latest US crude supply report, analysts said.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for January delivery sank $1.16 in afternoon trade to $54.77, while Brent crude for February fell 71 cents to $59.30 on the contract's first day of trading.
Brent for January finished down $1.20 at $59.86 in London, after slipping below the psychological $60 for the first time since July 2009.