Saudi edges up to 4-month high; Rajhi gains
The euro fell against the US dollar on Friday
Saudi Arabia’s bourse rose for a fourth session to hit a new four-month closing high, but traders were cautious as they tried to gauge the health of the global economy.
The benchmark climbed 0.3 percent to its highest close since Jan. 17. It is up two percent in 2011.
“Market is mostly flat like other regional markets — the reason for this is the uncertainty about Europe,” said Hesham Tuffaha, head of asset management at Bakheet Investment Group.
“People are worried that (the) global recovery could be easing.”
The euro fell against the US dollar on Friday on fresh fears of a Greek debt default, which also sent global stocks lower.
Seven of the 10 largest Saudi stocks gained, with Al-Rajhi Bank up 1 percent and Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) up 0.5 percent.
US President Barack Obama pledged last week to relieve Egypt of $1 billion of debt and guarantee another $1 billion in borrowing to finance job creation and infrastructure.
Saudi Arabia then said on Saturday it would provide Egypt with about $4 billion to help bridge its funding gap, which was widened by the unrest that forced former President Hosni Mubarak out of office.
“The market’s reacting positively to all the news of foreign aid being poured into the country,” said Mohamed Radwan, head of equities at Pharos Securities, noting that financial stocks are likely to benefit from the extra funds.
Elsewhere, Qatar's index QSI fell 0.4 percent to 8,607 points, its lowest close since May 9. Volumes slumped to their lowest level since Oct 31, while losers outnumber gainers 15 to four.