Saudi shares closed down 1.68 percent to an 11-week low yesterday as the market reacted to last week’s lackluster banking results, weak stocks and a dip in energy prices . The fall to 6,682 points leaves the index at its lowest mark since July 25, Reuters reported. The banking index ended 1.92 percent down in its first session since major banks posted results.
Basil Al-Ghalayini, CEO of BMG Financial Group, said: “This is quite unexpected. The market has been affected primarily by the petrochemical sector as most companies have witnessed noticeable decline in global sales led by Yansab. The latter had recorded almost 47 percent decline during the third Quarter and 28 percent decline year to date. These consecutive declines have been driven by flattering global sales coupled with the temporary shutdown of the Olifins Cracker Unit.” Commenting on the Tadawul’s steep fall, Jarmo T. Kotilaine, a regional economist, said: “This is primarily reflective of the renewed sense of malaise in the global markets. Last week was marked by bearish sentiment globally, not least because the US earnings data has failed to impress. The IMF/World Bank meetings have further highlighted the challenges while offering little concrete by way of solutions.” He said the mood in many countries, especially in the euro zone is turning against austerity as reflected in the recurrent large-scale protests.
“In general, there is worldwide anxiety that the respite offered by renewed quantitative easing is doing little to take us closer to a real recovery,” Kotilaine said.