Saudi Arabia’s stock market continued rebounding yesterday, led by bank and petrochemical shares, but most markets in the region weakened.
The Saudi index rose 0.8%, although trading volume shrank to a modest level, suggesting many investors were staying out of the market.
The banking index, beaten down in past days by news that banks would have to reschedule consumer loans and housing mortgages as government austerity steps cut their customers’ incomes, rose 1.1%.
Some petrochemical shares were also strong after Brent oil futures rose as high as $52.09 per barrel overnight, the highest since early June.
National Petrochemical, which had surged 8.2% on Wednesday, climbed a further 3.0% to 15.60 riyals; NCB Capital and SICO upgraded their views of the stock this week, with targets of 17.30 and 19.00 riyals respectively.
National Industrialisation (Tasnee), which has petrochemical assets, gained 4.0%.
But telecommunications firm Zain Saudi pulled back 3.9% after rising in the previous two days on hopes it would benefit from deregulation.
Many stocks directly exposed to consumer demand continued to slide because of the austerity policies; retailer Al Hokair also fell 3.9%.
There was massive trade in Takween’s rights on their last day of trade; the rights sank 37.6% as the underlying stock rose 6.4%.
Dubai’s index slipped 0.2% as shares in Dubai Financial Market fell 2.4%.
VTB Capital said MSCI might exclude the stock from its MXAE index in its November review, to be announced on November 14, because of its low capitalisation; in order to remain in the index, the stock will have to rise 8% by late October, VTB calculated.
Abu Dhabi’s index edged down 0.1% while Qatar fell by the same amount.
Elsewhere, the Kuwait index dropped 0.7% to 5,320 points, the Oman index edged down 0.1% to 5,610 points and the Bahrain index fell 0.2% to 1,137 points.
Egypt’s market was closed for a national holiday.
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