Rising oil prices lift Saudi index but Egyptian losses extended
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%
The Bahrain index closed higher, helped by Aluminium Bahrain’s loan refinancing plans