Saudi falls on banking, petchem stocks
Riyadh, May 26, 2012
Saudi Arabia's bourse closed down 0.7 per cent after making early gains, with falls in both the banking and petrochemical sectors, the two largest in the exchange.
In early trading the all-share reached 7,080 points from a start of 7,061 points, but it finished at 7,014 points.
Banking and finance shares dropped 1.2 per cent, with Al Rajhi Bank, the largest listed, falling 1 per cent. Petrochemical shares fell 0.7 per cent, with bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic) closing down 0.5 per cent.
The oil prices rose for a second straight day on Friday because of a lack of progress in negotiations with Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.
However, Europe's debt problems weighed on both crude futures and US stocks on Friday, reversing earlier gains made by European stock markets based on defensive plays for safe assets.
Earlier in the day, the bourse opened higher, with gains in its major petrochemical and banking sectors, after two days of oil price rises on Thursday and Friday.
Sabic rose 0.8 per cent in early trading, thus helping to lift petrochemical stocks by 0.2 per cent. Banking and finance stocks too rise 0.2 per cent, with Al Rajhi Bank, the largest listed on the exchange, gaining 0.3 per cent in early trades.-Reuters