Banks led Saudi Arabia's bourse to fresh three-and-half-year highs yesterday and analysts expect the kingdom's financial sector to lift the market further, backed by strong fundamentals.
The main benchmark rose 1.1 per cent to finish at 7,759 points, its highest close since September 2008 and third straight gain.
"The index is approaching a resistance between the 7,800 and 8,000 points range," says Mateb Al Ganem, portfolio manager at Amlakuna Investment Group. Al Rajhi Bank gained 2.2 per cent, Samba Financial Group climbed 3.4 per cent and Banque Saudi Fransi rose 2.2 per cent.
"Banks have strong fundamentals and when the numbers are released for the first quarter, they will reiterate recent gains," said Ahmed Raza Khan, head of research, asset management at Mefic Capital.