Petchems pull Tadawul slightly higher

Petchems pull Tadawul slightly higher
Updated 22 January 2016

Petchems pull Tadawul slightly higher

Petchems pull Tadawul slightly higher

DUBAI: Most Middle Eastern bourses fell on Thursday as investors remained worried by the chronic weakness of oil prices and declines in international bourses, but Saudi Arabia's stock index edged up on the back of petrochemical shares.
A petchems rally in the final hour of trade helped pull the Tadawul All-Share Index up 114 points from its intra-day low of 5,349 points, its lowest level since March 2011. It closed 0.1 percent higher at 5,464 points.
Saudi Basic Industries Co., the largest petrochemcical firm, bounced up 1.7 percent to SR61.75, well off its session low of SR59.50. The stock is down 19.5 percent year-to-date.
"The swing factor in the markets is oil, because although technical analysis shows that the majority of stocks are in oversold territory, as long as Brent remains below $30 investors will have no confidence in any type of analysis," said a Jeddah-based portfolio manager.
Saudi companies are coming under pressure as they announce fourth-quarter earnings. Savola Group plunged 6.6 percent despite reporting an 18.6 percent rise in net profit, which was SR515.3 million ($137.3 million); analysts had on average forecast SR478.5 million.
Saudi Telecom Co. fell in early trade but ended up 0.9 percent.
Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (Maaden) climbed 2.5 percent despite reporting results below expectations; it made a net loss of SR5.7 million. Maaden said no dividend would be paid for 2015.
Fawaz Alhokair Co. plunged 8.4 percent after the retailer reported a 14.2 percent fall in third-quarter net profit. Earnings were SR91.2 million.
"We believe the disappointing results were mainly due to the adverse impact of foreign exchange volatility, which hurt international revenue and margins," NCB Capital said in a note on Alhokair. NCB Capital had expected the company to make a quarterly profit of SR130 million.
But Emaar Economic City, a heavily traded mid-cap industrial land developer, rose 5.3 percent after the company reported a 129 percent increase in fourth-quarter earnings.
Dubai's index traded down 0.6 percent to 2,622 points, a new 28-month low. Air Arabia fell 3.4 percent to its lowest close since July 2013; contractor Drake and Scull tumbled 2.6 percent to a record low.
But builder Arabtec advanced 1.9 percent, trimming its 2016 losses to 6.3 percent.
Abu Dhabi's bourse gave up early, minor gains and slid 0.8 percent to a fresh 28-month low. Blue-chip lenders First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi were down 2.9 and 1.4 percent respectively.
But mid-tier energy-related companies Dana Gas and Abu Dhabi National Energy ended on a high note, advancing 5.3 and 7.7 percent.
In Doha, the index fell 1.2 percent with the sell-off concentrated in real estate developers. The biggest loser in the sector was large-cap Barwa Real Estate, down 5.3 percent.