(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia's stock market broke through the psychologically important 7,000-point mark on the final trading session before the Eid Al-Fitr break, led by food stocks.
The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) closed at 7,003.79 points yesterday, up 0.51 percent.
The agricultural and food index advanced 3.16 percent, led by Almarai, jumped 10 percent in its largest one-day gain in more than two years.
The dairy firm closed at its highest level since June 18.
"The fact that the market has broken the 7,000 level on the last trading day before the Eid break indicates positive sentiment among the local traders," Farouk Miah, head of equity research at NCB Capital, said commenting on the development.
"Overall, the volumes and performance of the market in Ramadan has been much stronger than in previous years," he said.
"Value traded per day has been close to SR 7 billion on some days in Ramadan, higher than the SR 5-6 billion seen before Ramadan," he added.
Jarmo T. Kotilaine, chief economist at the National Commercial Bank, told Arab News: "While major discontinuities have been avoided in the global economy - itself is somewhat encouraging outcome as compared to the fears of major crisis in the spring - the general track record has been fairly lackluster. Risks abound but also the broader economic cycle seems to be once again turning down. This, along with recent statements from the ECB (European Central Bank), has fed expectations that significant monetary loosening may be on the cards."
Kotilaine said the previous qualitative easing program have been very positive for asset values and commodity prices, and some of that effect is likely to materialize this time as well. Of course, quite apart from this, the general economic fundamentals in Saudi Arabia remain favorable."
Saudi Fisheries Co. gained 1 percent yesterday and Halwani Brothers Co. rose 1.9 percent.
Banks also performed well, with Bank Al-Bilad climbing 3.3 percent to its highest finish since April 22. SABB and Banque Saudi Fransi gained 1.5 and 0.9 percent respectively.