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Saudi index inches up helped by banks

By Agencies

Saudi Arabian shares advanced 0.1 per cent at the start of the week, led by Riyad Bank and Al Rajhi Bank, as the price of crude oil rose.

Southern Province Cement Co, the largest cement producer in Saudi Arabia, increased to the highest level since 2008. Easter Province Cement, the maker of building materials gained the most in more than two months.

The Tadawul All Share Index rose to 6473.05.

Crude oil rose after a report showed the US economy grew at a 5.9 per cent annual rate in the fourth quarter, signalling that fuel demand may climb in the world's biggest energy-consuming country. Oil increased 1.9 per cent to $79.66 after the Commerce Department said gross domestic product gained by the most in six years. The growth rate was higher than the government reported last month. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke said this week that the US economy is in a "nascent" recovery.

In Saudi Arabia, Riyad Bank increased 1.4 per cent to SR28.6 (Dh28.01), the most in more than month. Al Rajhi Bank added 0.3 per cent to SR77.25, the most in a week.

Southern Province rose 2.1 per cent to SR72.75. Eastern Cement gained 1.6 per cent to SR49.5.

Among the other major gainers of the day were Saudi Cement Company that rose by 3.03 per cent to close at SR68, Saudi Industrial Services Company that went up by 2.65 per cent to SR15.50, Saudi Research and Marketing Group, that gained 2.27 per cent to end the day at SR27, besides Southern Province Cement Company that appreciated 2.11 per cent to SR72.75.

The major losers of the day were Sabb that lost 3.40 per cent to scale down to SR48.30, Buruj Co-operative Insurance Company that went down by 2.56 per cent to end up at SR34.20, Weqaya Takaful Insurance and Reinsurance Company that went down 2.03 per cent to SR28.90, and Tourism Enterprises Company that lost 1.27 per cent to end the day at SR31.10.


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