Most Gulf stock exchanges closed higher today, Thursday, supported by the rise in oil prices amid indications of a strong economic recovery in China, the largest importer of crude.

Crude oil prices, a major catalyst for financial markets in the Gulf, rose on Thursday. Brent crude rose 0.65%, by 11:45 GMT, to $84.86 a barrel.

Crude recorded a jump, supported by the growth of manufacturing activity in China at the fastest pace in more than a decade last month, according to data released on Wednesday, which reinforces signs of the recovery of the second largest economy in the world.

The Saudi stock market index closed up 0.8%, to 10,277 points, to continue the rise for the third session. The index rose with almost all sectors recording gains, as the share of Al-Rajhi Bank, the largest Islamic bank in the world by assets, increased 2.2%, and the share of Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services Group increased 1.5%.

Oil giant Aramco rose 0.6%.

Aramco agreed to acquire a minority stake in a transmission technology company that French automaker Renault and China's Geely are planning to establish.

The share of ACWA Power rose 1.6%, after it announced a more than double increase in its annual profits to 1.54 billion riyals ($410.36 million).

Shares of the Saudi National Shipping Company (Bahri) also increased 1.3%, after concluding an agreement worth about 1.53 billion riyals ($407.70 million) with a partner program to support the gas transportation sector.

In Abu Dhabi, the index rose 0.1%, extending its gains for the third session. Abu Dhabi National Energy (TAQA) rose 3.6% and Multipleplay shares rose 2.2%.

The Qatari index closed 0.5% higher, with shares of most sectors rising. Industries Qatar and Qatar International Islamic Bank rose 1.1 and 2.2%, respectively.

The Dubai index fell 0.3%, affected by losses in the utilities, real estate and financial institutions sectors. Leading Emaar Properties fell 1.2%, and Emirates Central Cooling Systems Company (Empower) fell 0.7%.

Outside the Gulf region, the Egyptian blue-chip index fell 1.6%, after recording gains in the previous session, with most sectors in the negative zone.

Shares of Commercial International Bank and Eastern Bank declined 2.4% and 4.7%, respectively.