Saudi slightly up after budget announcement
Riyadh, December 29, 2012
Saudi stocks closed slightly higher on Saturday after the government announced a 2013 state budget which analysts said was likely to support continued strong economic growth next year.
The market declined early on in response to a drop in global oil prices on Friday, but rebounded after the budget details were released. The government plans to spend SR820 billion ($219 billion) in 2013, 19 per cent higher than the SR690 billion earmarked for 2012.
The all-share index gained 0.2 per cent to 6,877 points, even though petrochemicals fell slightly in response to the global picture, with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic) down 0.3 per cent.
Earlier in the day, the stocks were little changed in early trade after opening slightly lower in response to the drop of oil prices on Friday.
Oil prices settled lower on Friday after US data showed a sharp rise in gasoline inventories and as investors worried that US budget negotiators may not reach a deal in time to avert a fiscal crisis that could erode oil demand.
The all-share index rose 0.1 per cent to hit 6,876 points, while the shares in Sabic dropped 0.3 per cent in the early trade.-Reuters