Saudi bourse bounces back after dip
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.