Saudi soars on banking, petchem stocks

Saudi stocks closed higher on Saturday led by the banking, petrochemicals and services sectors. The all-share index added 0.42 per cent to close at 7,435.19 points.

Banks and Financial Services index rose by 0.51 per cent to hit 15,793.62 points, while Petrochemicals closed at 6,103.27 points with an increase of 0.33 per cent.

Al Rajhi Bank closed 0.37 per cent higher and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ended 0.54 up. Saudi Electricity Company closed 0.39 per cent higher following the signing of a $1.6 billion deal to link the Saudi and Egyptian power grids.

Early in the day, the stocks, including in the important banking and petrochemical sectors, opened down after global equity markets and crude oil prices fell in Friday trading.

The all-share index closed 0.56 percent in early trading, while petrochemical shares dropped 0.65 percent and banking shares fell 0.39 per cent.

Global equity markets fell on Friday on concern that the US Federal Reserve may ease its stimulus programme, while benchmark Brent crude fell $1.80 a barrel after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to leave output levels unchanged.

-Reuters, June 1, 2013