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Saudi stocks likely to maintain rally

The Saudi stock market is likely to open higher when it resumes trading today after the weekend, encouraged by yesterday’s gains in global markets, analysts said.
An improving economic outlook held world stock prices near a 20-month high yesterday.
A massive stimulus plan in Japan also boosted optimism about future business activity, but worries persisted about global demand and a possible drag from the debt ceiling fight in Washington, spurring selling in oil and basic metals.
The Tadawul All-Share Index broke the psychological barrier of 7,000 points mark last week, up 186.4 points and closed at 7,126.71 points. It posted weekly growth of 2.69 percent.
“With the Saudi market enjoying a rally of consecutive positive trading sessions since the start of the year, local fundamentals push for this trend to continue,” commented Basil Al-Ghalayini, CEO OF BMG Financial Group.
“From a global perspective, this trend might witness a negative impact as the oil tumbling toward $110 a barrel on growing concern that oil demand may be weakening in the short term as global economic activity remains subdued.”
Jarmo T Kotilaine, a regional analyst, commented: “The Kingdom continues to play a unique role in stabilizing the oil market at a time when concerns about demand erosion persist and non-OPEC production looks likely to accelerate somewhat from last year’s modest pace.”
Kotilaine added: “However, the pattern in this area is likely to remain one of continued volatility as periods of optimism are interspersed with bouts of increased risk aversion. Overall, global oil demand is continuing to go up, although more slowly than previously projected.”
Brent February crude was down $1.95 at $109.94 a barrel at 1539 GMT, after dropping to $109.60 and having reached $111.95.

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