Ris­ing oil prices lift Saudi in­dex but Egyp­tian losses ex­tended

The National - News - - BUSINESS IN DEPTH -

Saudi Ara­bia’s stock mar­ket rose yes­ter­day thanks to ris­ing oil prices and ro­bust non-oil pri­vate sec­tor data, while Egypt fell as the same sec­tor there dropped to a more than two-year low in the past month.

Oil prices were volatile in the run-up to this week’s Opec meet­ing, with prices con­tin­u­ing their rally at the start of the day in an­tic­i­pa­tion of potentiall­y deeper out­put cuts be­ing an­nounced by the pro­ducer bloc and its al­lies.

But by 6.45pm yes­ter­day both Brent and West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate were down marginally, at $60.72 and $55.86, re­spec­tively.

Oil prices are be­ing watched keenly ahead of the list­ing of Saudi Ara­bia’s state-owned oil gi­ant Saudi Aramco. Aramco plans to sell 1.5 per cent of its shares in a deal that could raise up to $25.6 bil­lion for which in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors have al­ready put in 144.1 bil­lion riyals (Dh141.1bn) worth of bids.

In­sti­tu­tional in­vestors still have un­til to­day to place or­ders. The king­dom’s sea­son­ally ad­justed Pur­chas­ing Man­agers’ In­dex rose to 58.3 in Novem­ber, up from 57.8 in Oc­to­ber and the high­est in over four years. Any read­ing above 50 in­di­cates ex­pan­sion.

The Saudi in­dex closed 0.6 per cent higher at 7,883 points, with Al Ra­jhi Bank in­creas­ing 1.1 per cent and Riyad Bank adding 2.5 per cent. Sau­dia Dairy And Food­stuff rose 2.5 per cent af­ter its board rec­om­mended a higher div­i­dend for the first half.

In Egypt, the blue-chip EGX 30 in­dex was down 0.5 per cent at 13,470 points in its third ses­sion of con­sec­u­tive losses with the mar­ket heavy­weight, Com­mer­cial In­ter­na­tional Bank Egypt, shed­ding 0.5 per cent.

Ac­tiv­ity in Egypt’s non-oil pri­vate sec­tor fell to a more than two-year low in Novem­ber, a sur­vey showed.

The Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock mar­kets were closed for three days of public hol­i­days and will re­sume trad­ing to­day.

The Bahrain in­dex closed 0.2 per cent higher to 1,541 points. Alu­minium Bahrain an­nounced that it had re­fi­nanced a $1.5bn syn­di­cated loan con­nected to its Line 6 Ex­pan­sion Project, which is now op­er­at­ing at full ca­pac­ity.

The new loan is an eight year fa­cil­ity at a rate of 3 per cent over the Lon­don In­ter­bank Of­fered Rate, which is 25 ba­sis points lower than its pre­vi­ous loan.

The Kuwait Premier Mar­ket dropped 0.6 per cent to 6,623 points, with lenders Na­tional Bank of Kuwait and Warba Bank among the main fall­ers. The Mus­cat Se­cu­ri­ties Mar­ket closed down 0.5 per cent at 4,057 points.

Asian mar­kets re­treated fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Trump’s threats to impose tar­iffs both on South Amer­i­can steel­mak­ers and on mak­ers of French lux­ury goods, in­creas­ing un­cer­tainty that a suc­cess­ful out­come to the US’s trade dis­pute with China will be ne­go­ti­ated soon.

The Hang Seng in­dex ended down 0.2 per cent at 26,391.30, while the China En­ter­prises In­dex lost 0.1 per cent, clos­ing at 10,355.92 points.

The Saudi in­dex closed 0.6% higher at 7,883 points, with Al Ra­jhi Bank in­creas­ing 1.1% and Riyad Bank adding 2.5%

Bloomberg

The Bahrain in­dex closed higher, helped by Alu­minium Bahrain’s loan re­fi­nanc­ing plans

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