Saudi Arabian equities rose the most in almost four weeks on speculation governments and central banks will take steps to contain the euro-region debt crisis and stoke economic growth.
Bank stocks gained, led by Bank Albilad. Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdom’s biggest lender by market value, added as much as 1.4 per cent. Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, the world’s largest petrochemicals maker by market value, climbed as much as 4.4 per cent, the most since April 2011.
The Tadawul All Share Index rose 1.7 per cent to 6,778.47 by 2:17pm in Riyadh. It advanced as much as 1.8 per cent, the biggest intraday increase since July 3. The measure has increased 5.6 per cent this year.
The “possibility of further stimulus in the US and recent announcements coming out of Europe are lifting sentiment,” Asim Bukhtiar, head of research at Riyad Capital, said by e-mail. “Volumes today look healthy considering the ongoing Ramadan month. Expect some tapering off in the next two weeks as we head into” Eid Al-Fitr holidays.
European and US equities gained on Friday on optimism Europe’s policy makers will take further action. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 1.7 per cent this week, the most in four weeks.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is said to be planning talks in the coming days with Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann on stimulus measures including bond purchases. ECB and Federal Reserve policy makers are scheduled to gather next week in separate meetings.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande pledged to do everything to protect the single currency. The two largest euro-area economies are “bound by the deepest duty” to keep the 17-nation currency bloc intact, Merkel and Hollande said in a joint statement.