Brent crude held steady above US$108 a barrel on Monday, drawing support from a brighter economic outlook for top energy consumer China, although investors remained skittish as US talks to avert a year-end "fiscal cliff" dragged on.
Gold edged lower on Monday, extending losses to a third straight session, as slowing trade ahead of the year-end holidays responded little to the latest progress in the US budget talks.
Iran's oil revenues have been cut in half this year compared with last year, a newspaper quoted Iran's economic minister as saying, an admission of how deeply Western sanctions are cutting Tehran's chief source of funds.
Kuwait's index is seen steady on Monday despite demonstrations against the new parliament.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad urged his compatriots in the occupied West Bank on Sunday to boycott all Israeli products, upping the ante in a standoff with the Jewish state.
Salaries increased by 11 percent in Lebanon in 2012, said a report by international management consultancy Hay Group, which forecasted a further increase of 8 percent in 2013.
The tentative oil cooperation between Baghdad and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, which was reached three months ago, has suffered a series of political setbacks as the two governments remain locked in a military standoff in Iraq's disputed territories.
Dubai’s Gloria Hotels has opened the largest hotel property in the Middle East in terms of number of rooms, the operator announced.
Subsidized loans extended to small-and medium-size companies declined 15.5 percent in the first 11 months of 2012 compared to last year, Kafalat SAL said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia’s HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has topped the Arabian Business Rich List for the ninth year in succession, with his current wealth now standing at US$25.9bn.