The Saudi stock market kept its upward trend last week. The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) gained 2.9 percent at a new all-time high of 16,820.90 points, compared with last week's close at 16,339.58 points. The index gained 481.32 points in a week.
TASI is currently 104.98 percent higher than the year's start.
The benchmark price received strong support from the petrochemical-related stocks in light of surging oil prices.
The Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) realized a sharp jump of 11.75 percent at SR1,752.25 last week following the approval of listing of 35 percent of YANSAB petrochemical complex.
SABIC owns a 55 percent stake in YANSAB. The value of SABIC shares traded crossed SR20.5 billion.
Saudi Land Transport Co. shares jumped 20.49 percent in a week at SR422.
Shares of Al-Ahsa Development Co. plunged 19.95 percent in a week to close on Thursday at SR375.
Shares of major banks declined last week. Only Bank Albilad shares edged higher slightly at SR933.50 as the bank set to open its headquarters in Riyadh on Sunday. The Saudi Investment Bank shares dropped 3.37 percent at SR1,053 followed by Aljazira Bank by 3.10 percent at SR1,405.
In the telecom sector, shares of Saudi Telecom Co. rose slightly at SR901.25, while shares of Etihad Etisalat dropped 2.52 percent in a week to close at SR697.
Over SR139 billion worth of shares changed hands last week.
The Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) expected trading at the Saudi stock market to be "volatile within a limited band" as the year draws to an end and investors await the announcement of 2005 financial results.
Meanwhile, Arab stock markets showed mixed performance last week as speculation mounted ahead of the year end and investors indulged in deep profit-taking moves and reshuffling of positions in accordance with financial results realized in the first three quarters of the year, financial analysts said on Thursday.
Kuwait's KSE all-share price index shed 0.7 percent last week, closing at 11,782 points down from 11,869 points previous week. Dealers attributed the decline to a wave of speculation that traditionally precedes the start of the new year.
Fluctuations also characterized trading at the United Arab Emirates stock exchanges for the fourth week in a row with the listing of the Dana Gas stock leaving a clear impact on transactions, portfolio managers said.
The benchmark indices of Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock exchanges went down 0.2 percent and 1.5 percent, to close respectively at 1,106.7 points and 5,431 points.
"The relative stability that developed this week could pave the ground for a new rebound in the first two weeks of January," Zuhair Kiswani from the Sharhan Brokerage Center said.
A spate of raising capitals of already existing firms and the establishment of new companies in the primary market is expected to have a "short-lived" negative impact on prices in the coming weeks as such steps "could pull out liquidity from the market", Wajdi Makhamreh, director of investment and head of brokerage at the Jordan Investment & Finance Bank told Arab News.
"This tendency developed clearly at the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) last week as investors scrambled to sell stocks to cover their financial commitments arising from the capital raisings and subscription in new firms," he said.
Makhamreh referred to a 3.7 percent drop in the ASE all-share price index, which closed week on Thursday at 8,753 points, down from 9,090 points previous week. The retreat was led by the heavyweight Arab Bank, which accounts for about 40 percent of the market's capitalization.
He expected prices of Jordanian shares to "go downward further" in the coming weeks when the Arab Bank withdraws about 1.5 billion from the market to finance the doubling of its capital, a move already approved by the bank's shareholders' meeting.