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Petchems lift Saudi stock market to two-week high

The key Saudi stock market index rose 0.36 percent yesterday to a two-week high, gaining for a fourth straight session since last Tuesday’s 10-month low.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) added 0.3 percent, Saudi Kayan Petrochemical climbed 0.8 percent and Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical advanced 0.6 percent.
The banking index slipped 0.23 percent. Al-Rajhi Bank added 0.4 percent, while Samba Financial Group and Bank AlJazira fell 1.1 and 1.2 percent respectively.
“I don’t expect the market to move much higher from these levels until year-end because of a lack of catalysts,” Tariq Alalaiwat, equity research analyst at NCB Capital, told Reuters.
Sahara Petrochemicals Co. advanced the most in more than a year after the board recommended its first cash dividend. The shares rose 4.4pc, the biggest increase since November 2011, to SR 13.10. The stock was the second-biggest gainer on the Tadawul All Share Index.
Elsewhere, Kuwait’s bourse rallied in late trade, with the index gaining 0.2 percent to close at a seven-week high.
Saturday’s parliamentary elections, seen to be giving a chance to a long-stalled government development plan to be implemented, boosted sentiment
“The overall consensus is very positive,” Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House, told Reuters.
“The National Portfolio Fund hasn’t begun its activities in full force yet. Many are waiting for it to do so,” which would bring good buying opportunities,” he added.
Markets in the UAE were closed for a public holiday.
Please read a related story on Page 15

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