RIYADH: Saudi stocks frazzled on Sunday as the benchmark index closed 17 points lower — or 0.16 percent — at 10,726.87, without any redeeming factors on the horizon ahead of the earnings season.
At 10:58 a.m., the Tadawul All Share Index touched 10,808.05; from there, it was an uninspired ride down the hill.
The index could not even sustain Thursday’s momentum when it closed 1.27 percent higher, following recovering oil prices and reassuring US inflation data, resulting in a blip of confidence.
“At the end of last week, the US markets received some support after the decline in inflation levels and optimism about the Federal Reserve slowing down interest rate hikes, while oil prices rose in light of expectations that demand from China would rise after easing down restrictions related to COVID-19,” Raed Mohamed Diab, vice president of investment strategy and research of Kuwait-based Kamco Invest, told Arab News.
He added: “Despite that, the Saudi market stabilized at the same levels as last week, as it seems that there is some caution regarding the investment climate and waiting for brighter signs.”
While MSCI Tadawul 30 Index fell 0.19 percent to close at 1,491.66, the parallel market Nomu mustered a 0.7 percent increase to close at 19,367.21.
TASI’s total trading turnover of the benchmark index on Sunday dropped 32 percent to SR3.5 billion ($930 million) from Thursday’s SR5.2 billion, with 133 stocks of the listed 223 declining and 79 advancing.
“The Saudi market stabilized with minimal change in the performance of the sectors,” said Diab.
Additionally, stock markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council region on Sunday mirrored a mixed response as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain gained marginally while Kuwait, Qatar and Muscat inched lower.
On the announcement front, Al Rajhi Bank informed the stock exchange on Sunday that its board of directors has recommended a 12.5 percent cash dividend, or SR1.25 per share, after deducting zakat, doling out SR5 billion for 2022. The bank’s share price, however, fell 0.1 percent to SR77.80.
The subscription to Albilad MSCI US Tech exchange-traded fund also commenced on Tadawul on Jan. 12, with the offering period to last for 30 business days, ending on Feb. 22.
The minimum amount to commence the fund operations is SR10 million. If the amount is not collected during the initial public offering period, the fund manager will return the subscription amounts to the unitholders.
Meanwhile, Saudi Chemical Holding Co., on Jan. 15, signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding, through its subsidiary, Saudi Chemical Co. Ltd., with Orica Mining Services Portugal for technical cooperation on the localization of ammonium nitrate and nitric acid production.
As part of the MoU, a project to localize the ammonium nitrate and nitric acid industry will be set up to be the first of its kind in the region, besides introducing modern technologies in the mining sector. The share price of SCC fell 0.37 percent to close at SR27.
On Sunday, Naseej for Technology Co. also announced that it won a project from the Ministry of Education worth SR56.99 million, including value-added tax.
The project includes providing the Saudi Digital Library with access to the available digital information resources, the company said in a statement on Tadawul.