Saudi rallies ahead of 2014 budget speech
Dubai, December 10, 2013
Saudi Arabia's bourse rose for a fifth consecutive session on Tuesday and approached the year's peak as investors bought shares ahead of the 2014 budget announcement expected later this month. Regional shares were mixed with few catalysts.
Saudi Arabia's index climbed 0.5 percent to 8,399 points, its highest since Nov. 18's 2013 intraday peak of 8,425.
"The market has to break with confidence the 8,400 area on good turnover and it could very well do it as we are gearing up for the budget announcement later in the month," said John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at Saudi investment firm MASIC. "Also, Q4 profits are in investors' minds and that seems to be a positive driver for the market."
Saudi Arabia tends to set record budgets every year, which are conservative numbers compared to actual spending. The announcement is expected in the second half of December.
Petrochemical shares gained as oil prices recovered recent losses. Brent crude climbed 0.8 percent to $110.23 per barrel at 1215 GMT. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) added 1.1 percent and National Industrialization (Tasnee) rose 1.6 percent.
Saudi petrochemical stocks tend to track oil prices, with crude impacting their bottom line. Oil is also seen as a proxy for global economic activity and therefore demand for petrochemical products.
Elsewhere, Cairo's benchmark index slipped 0.1 percent, its second decline since Sunday's 18-day high.
The market was little moved after a government minister said a referendum on a new constitution would be held in mid-January.
"People were expecting the vote to be held in early January but it was slightly delayed - the referendum was mostly priced in," said Islam Batrawy, a Cairo-based trader.
Heavyweight Commercial International Bank declined 0.7 percent, its second loss since Sunday's all-time high.
Real estate shares rose on expectations of increased investment in the sector. Sixth of October Development and Investment Co (SODIC) rose 4.5 percent.
Elsewhere, United Arab Emirates markets recovered early-session losses from some profit-taking. Dubai's index ticked up 0.05 percent and Abu Dhabi's benchmark climbed 0.5 percent.
Both markets are at their highest levels in five years, buoyed by a recovery in the real estate and banking sector and Dubai's successful bid to host the Expo 2020 world fair.
Qatar's measure advanced 0.6 percent to its highest since September 2008. Investors are increasing allocations ahead of early-year dividend payouts and an upgrade in the second quarter to MSCI's emerging market index.-Reuters