Saudi edges up on banking stocks
Riyadh, April 20, 2013
Saudi stocks close slightly higher. The main market index is up 0.54 percent to 7098,48 points, supported by banking shares.
Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdom's largest listed lender, was up 1.16 per cent.
Shares of heavyweight Sabic closed down 0.82 per cent after it reported a 10-per cent fall in its first-quarter net profit, dragging the petrochemicals index down 0.16 per cent.
Brent crude oil prices rose Friday, at one point pushing back above $100 a barrel, on a second day of modest gains boosted by a strong day in the equity markets to recover some ground after a steep six-day decline.
Early in the day, the stocks were trading mostly higher despite weakness in Sabic after its first-quarter earnings. The petrochemical giant was down 0.27 per cent after the Q1 results were released.
Chief executive Mohamed al-Mady said the company was reviewing its global growth outlook in light of Europe's troubles, but also said he was optimistic about growth in China and a recovering US construction market.
The main market index was up 0.07 per cent to 7,064 points. After five straight days of declines in response to sinking global oil prices, it has minor technical support around the 7,050-point area, which was resistance in early March.
Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdom's largest listed lender, is up 0.39 percent.-Reuters