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MENAFN - Arab News - 30/10/2010

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi shares rebounded last week, receiving support from the petrochemical, industrial and construction sectors. The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) gained 1.28 percent this past week to close at 6,309.92 points.

"Prices in this area sound logical to all investment funds and traders, who are currently weighing incentives as the year draws to a close," Saudi analyst Mohammad Anqari said.

He expected Saudi stocks to benefit from a plan by the Saudi authorities to allow foreigners to trade in Saudi shares.

"All investors will be monitoring the movement of the US dollar and Fed's Nov. 3 meeting to know the extent of quantitative easing," Anqari said. "This huge money will be seeking investment outlets to preserve their value and we don't think it will be hot money."

On a week-to-week basis, the sector activity was mostly positive with 10 out of 15 sectors closing with gains ranging from 0.02 percent by the cement sector to 2.83 percent by the petrochemical sector. On the other hand the losses for the week ranged from 0.19 percent by the hotel & tourism sector to 2.54 percent by the energy and utilities sector, the Financial Transaction House (FTH) said in its weekly market commentary.

The top gainers for the week were Allied Cooperative Insurance Group with a rise of 17.86 percent to close at SR34.30 and The Red Sea Housing Services Co. with a gain of 13.02 percent to close at SR46.

The top losers for the week on the other hand were Mediterranean & Gulf Insurance & Reinsurance Co. with a loss of 9.10 percent to SR 25.00 and The BUPA Arabia for Cooperative Insurance Co. losing 7.29 percent to SR21.

The Saudi stock market turnover fell to SR12.83 billion last week as compared to SR13.28 billion in the previous week.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) shares surged 4.68 percent to SR95 last week.

Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) shares edged higher by 2.53 percent to SR40.50, while Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) shares declined 0.91 percent to SR54.25.

Arab stock markets rallied last week, deriving momentum from stable oil prices and steady global markets amid reports the US Federal Reserve planned a new round of monetary easing next week, financial analysts said Friday.

They expected Arab markets, particularly in the Gulf states, to benefit from the monetary stimulus the Fed could adopt on Nov. 3 against the backdrop of sluggish economic recovery.

"I believe the Fed's quantitative easing will have a positive impact on regional markets, particularly those with affiliations with the US and European economies," Nizar Taher, chief of brokerage at the Jordan Ahli Bank, told Arab News.

"However, much depends on the long-term effects and the impact of the Fed's move on world recovery and consequently on oil prices," he said.

Taher pointed out that oil prices would continue to guide markets, particularly in the Gulf area, for sometime to come due to their influence on macroeconomic and spending policies of regional governments.

Jordanian shares were volatile last week as a mood of frustration continued to dominate the market for lack of incentives and a liquidity crunch, Taher said.

The all-share index of the Amman Stock Exchange gained 0.4 percent on weekly basis, closing at 2,333 points, according to the ASE weekly report.

Kuwaiti stocks rebounded strongly last week, led by the banking and investment sectors.

The all-share index of the Kuwaiti stock exchange climbed 1.77 percent last week, to close again above the 7,000-point level at 7,068 points.

The United Arab Emirates shares also drew momentum from the real estate and banking sectors.

The benchmark of the Dubai exchange gained 1.9 percent to close at a six-month high of 1,777 points, buoyed by Emaar Properties' third quarter earnings.

The all-share index of the Abu Dhabi market went up 0.34 percent to close week at 2,817 points.

Egypt's AGX30 index, which measures the performance of the market's 30 most active stocks, shed 1.6 percent on weekly basis, closing at 6,697 points due to selling pressure by foreigners, analysts said.

The Gulf stock markets also showed improvement last week. The GulfBase GCC Index increased 1.49 percent to 3,991.75 points. The value of GCC traded shares rose 2.24 percent to 5.41 billion and volume surged 25.35 percent to 3.89 billion of shares.

By Khalil Hanware & Abdul Jalil Mustafa


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