Saudi stocks see biggest drop in 2 weeks on global fears

Ahram Online, Saturday 20 Aug 2011

Faltering performance of the Middle East's only Saturday trader suggests worse may be in store for the region when markets reopen tomorrow

The Saudi Arabia stock exchange has taken its sharpest fall in two weeks, finishing 2.58 per cent down at 5,931 points on turnover of 2.7198 billion riyals (US$725.3 million).
 
The Saudi exchange, the only Middle East market to operate on Saturdays, has seen its performance mirror that of world markets since the start of August, dragged down by a faltering global recovery led by concerns over the US economy.
 
"The market is reacting to negative signals coming from international markets as well as the weak economic performance in Europe and the US," Akef Al Tanbouz, head of asset management at The Investor Securities in Riyadh, told Bloomberg.
 
Sabic, the world's largest petrochemicals firm, lost 2 per cent, as did Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdom's largest publicly traded lender.
 
Global equities have lost more than $8 trillion in value over the past four weeks.
 
The Saudi Arabian market is set to close on 27 August for the Eid Al Fitr holiday, with trading resuming on 3 September.
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