Saudi bourse bounces back after dip

The National - News - - MONEY & MARKETS / BUSINESS -

Saudi Ara­bia’s stock mar­ket re­bounded yes­ter­day as in­sur­ance stocks re­gained some strength.

The main Saudi in­dex, which had sunk 2.2 per cent on Wed­nes­day, rose 1.4 per cent to 6,988 points after test­ing de­mand at lower lev­els. But it re­mained be­low the 200-day av­er­age, now at 7,041 points, which it fell through this week – a neg­a­tive tech­ni­cal sig­nal.

Twenty-three of the 33 listed in­sur­ers rose. All but one had dropped on Wed­nes­day be­cause of fears of an in­dus­try shake­out caused by a reg­u­la­tory crack­down.

Al Ra­jhi Bank, the most heav­ily traded stock, gained 0.8 per cent. Bank Al­jazira, which had plunged for two days after re­viv­ing a plan for a big rights is­sue, re­bounded 1.1 per cent.

The Dubai in­dex gained 0.6 per cent, although loss-mak­ing re­tail and restau­rant in­vest­ment firm Marka fell 2.9 per cent after say­ing share­hold­ers had ap­proved a plan to con­tinue op­er­a­tions. The com­pany will exit un­der­per­form­ing fash­ion and sports seg­ments and re­struc­ture debt.

Abu Dhabi rose 0.2 per cent as Na­tional Bank of Ras al Khaimah surged 4.7 per cent after ob­tain­ing a US$350 mil­lion syn­di­cated loan, in­creased from $250m, for gen­eral fund­ing pur­poses.

Egypt’s in­dex climbed 0.6 per cent as Arab Cot­ton Gin­ning surged 3.3 per cent after an­nounc­ing a div­i­dend of 0.2 Egyp­tian pounds per share for hold­ers on Oc­to­ber 22.

Av­er­age yields on Egypt’s six­month and one-year trea­sury bills dipped at auc­tion yes­ter­day, data from the cen­tral bank showed. The yield on the 182-day bill dipped to 18.951 per cent from 19.080 per cent at the last sim­i­lar auc­tion, and the yield on the 364-day bill fell to 17.985 per cent from 18.447 per cent.

For­eign hold­ings in Egyp­tian trea­suries to­talled 311.6 bil­lion Egyp­tian pounds as of Oc­to­ber 10, up from 308bn pounds a week ear­lier.

The green­back hit a twoweek low after the min­utes of the lat­est US cen­tral bank meet­ing re­vealed pol­i­cy­mak­ers’ con­cern over per­sis­tently low in­fla­tion and raised doubts about an in­ter­est rate hike ex­pected in De­cem­ber.

“The Fed min­utes seem to have been taken as more dovish than ex­pected and that is pos­i­tive for emerg­ing mar­kets,” said Guil­laume Tresc, Crédit Agri­cole’s se­nior emerg­ing mar­ket strate­gist.

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