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Tadawul rallies, driven by petchem shares
By Querubin J. Minas Saudi Gazette
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 04 - 04 - 2010

The total value of shares traded on Saudi stock market dropped by 37.63 percent in the first quarter of 2010 at SR190.03 billion ($50.76 billion) compared with the same period las year.
The total number of shares traded also plunged by 51.14 percent in the period covered, reaching 8.21 billion shares as against 16.79 billion shares traded during the first quarter of 2009.
However, the Saudi benchmark Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) closed at 6,801.01 points at the end of the first quarter 2010, gaining 2,097.26 points or 44.59 percent from the same period last year.
On a year-to-date (YTD) basis, TASI registered a positive return of 11.10 percent at 679.25 points, Tadawul said on its website on Saturday.
The highest close for the index during the period was on March 30 at 6,814.99 points.
Total equity market capitalization at the end of the first quarter 2010 reached SR1,344.87 billion ($358.63 billion), an increase of 52.10 percent in the period under review.
The total number of transactions executed during the first quarter 2010 reached 5.35 million compared to 10.04 million trades in the year-ago period, or a drop of 46.7 percent.
Moreover, the total amount of traded shares in the Saudi bourse in March 2010 was SR70.74 billion, a decrease of 23.66 percent from the previous month where the value of the traded shares was SR54 billion.
The percentage share of Saudi nationals from the market trades was 87.7 percent for selling at SR62.02 billion and 81.1 percent for buying at SR57.34 billion.
The percentage share of Saudi companies from the market trades was 3.7 percent for selling at SR2.62 billion and 9.0 percent for buying at SR6.38 billion.
The percentage share of investment funds from the market trades was 3.2 percent for selling at SR2.24 billion and 4.0 percent for buying at SR2.79 billion.
The percentage share of GCC nationals from the market trades was 2.3 percent for selling at SR1.62 billion and 2.0 percent for buying at SR1.42 billion.
The percentage share of Arab residents in the Kingdom from the market trades was 1.5 percent for selling at SR1.04 billion and 1.4 percent for buying at SR989.42 million. The percentage share of foreigners residents in Saudi Arabia from the market trades was 0.2 percent for selling at SR169.87 million and 0.2 percent for buying at SR142.27 million.
The percentage share of foreigners via swap agreement from the market trades was 1.5 percent for selling at SR1.03 billion and 2.4 percent for buying at SR1.67 million.
But on Saturday, the first day of trading in April, Saudi stocks closed higher fueled by petrochemical stocks, led by heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC).
Higher oil prices drive SABIC shares closed 1.5 percent higher after the company says that it started commercial production at a 2.8 million ton expansion.
The petrochemicals index gained 0.8 percent to 6,128 points while the Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) added 0.37 percent to 6,826.48 points.
Oil rose for the fourth day in a row on Thursday, closing at the highest level in 18 months, after upbeat US economic data signaled better oil demand ahead, prompting fund buying as the new quarter began.
A dip in the dollar against the euro and a basket of currencies also sparked buying, traders said.
US crude for May delivery settled up $1.11, or 1.3 percent, at $84.87 a barrel, the highest close since Oct. 9, 2008. It hit the day's high at $85.22, also the highest since that day. For the week, US crude rose $4.87, or 6 percent.
London ICE Brent closed up $1.31, or 1.6 percent, at $84.01 a barrel, highest since Oct. 8, 2008. It posted the day's high at $84.33.Brent crude gained $4.72, or 6 percent, for the week.
“The local market sentiments are buoyed by expectations of good quarterly earnings and continuous surge on oil prices that moved quickly to trade above $85,” said Mohammed Ishaq Ali, fund manager at Al-Rajhi Capital.
Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Maaden) closed 0.3 percent lower having recorded gains earlier in the session after announcing that Alcoa cut its stake in a planned $10.8 billion aluminum complex in the Kingdom by more than a third.
“The market will take this news with a pinch of salt in the near term. The market will look forward to Maaden's plan to substitute them,” Ishaq said. __

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