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Banks, petchems drive Saudi bourse higher

Saudi Arabia’s bourse opened higher, with gains in its major petrochemical and banking sectors, after two days of oil price rises on Thursday and Friday.
Bellweather Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) rose 0.8 percent, helping to lift petrochemical stocks by 0.2 percent.
Banking and finance stocks rose 0.2 percent, with Al Rajhi Bank, the largest listed on the exchange, gaining 0.3 percent in early trades.
The all-share index traded 0.2 percent higher at about 7,074 points.

Oil prices rose for a second straight day on Friday because of a lack of progress in negotiations with Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.
However, Europe’s debt problems weighed on both crude futures and US stocks on Friday, reversing earlier gains made by European stock markets based on defensive plays for safe assets.

By Reuters, 26 May 2012 , www.arabianbusiness.com