Petrochemical firms and other oil-related stocks rose in the Gulf early on Tuesday after the Brent crude price surged almost 3 percent to around $85 a barrel overnight, but most stocks in the region were sluggish as emerging markets slumped globally.
The Saudi Arabian index was up 0.1 percent after an hour of trading, with 11 of 14 petrochemical stocks gaining. Saudi Basic Industries rose 0.5 percent.
The Dubai index dipped 0.5 percent, pulled down by real estate stocks on profit-taking after the sector had rebounded moderately in the last few days. Emaar Properties slid 1.9 percent.
Loss-making construction firm Drake and Scull, which has plunged more than 80 percent this year, jumped 10 percent in heavy trade ahead of a planned shareholder meeting on Thursday that is expected to discuss ways to strengthen the company.
In Qatar, the index edged up just 0.3 percent but petrochemical producer Industries Qatar rose 1.2 percent in unusually heavy trade.
Drilling rig provider Gulf International Services was heading for its sixth straight gain, up 1.8 percent; rising oil prices have boosted it more than 13 percent since mid-September.