Saudi stocks end volatile week slightly higher
The Saudi stock market closed Thursday October 11 up 0.3 percent, ending a volatile week that saw the index dip sharply over attacks on Afghanistan, before rebounding in the last two days of trading.
"The Saudi stock market could be described as nervous and oscillating on any positive or negative news during this volatile week," Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) said Thursday. The NCFEI all-shares index closed at 2,292.42 points, up from 2,285.34 the previous week, the BFA reported. The index is now only 1.5 percent higher than its level at the start of the year.
On Monday, one day after the United States launched strikes on Afghanistan, the index dropped 1.6 percent to close below last year's closing level, but it rebounded to buck three weeks of losses in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington. Stock prices of 18 companies rose, 29 fell, three remained unchanged and 26 issues did not trade.
The launch of Washington's campaign against terrorism coincided with the installation of a new electronic trading system on the bourse. The inability of banks to connect to the new Tadawul system saw trading value plunged in the week to 505.3 million riyals ($134.7 million) from 1.2 billion riyals ($320 million) BFA said.
A number of Saudi companies also declared sluggish financial results for the first nine months of the year, it added. Profits of banking giant Al-Rajhi Banking and Investment Corp. (ARABIC) dipped 16 percent from the corresponding period in 2000.
Blue chip gainers were led by the Saudi American Bank and the Arab National Bank, which rose 2.7 and 2.5 percent, respectively. The giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) was 0.9 percent down. The NCFEI is the most capitalized in the Arab world at more than $70 billion, but operates only as an interbank market system. — (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)