The Saudi stock market followed a rally in other global markets on Monday on hopes euro zone leaders would unveil fresh measures to resolve the debt crisis.
The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) gained 1.17 percent to 6,118.64 points, rising for a first time in six sessions.
The value of Saudi traded shares reached SR5.62 billion and volume exceeded 248 million of shares on Monday.
“There were a lot of bargain hunters picking up good quality stocks in the Saudi market which have been falling recently,” Farouk Miah of NCB Capital's Equity Research told Arab News.
For example, he said SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corp.) went below SR90 on Sunday which is very good value — it was up 3.62 percent on Monday to SR93.
Miah said: “The TASI was close to the strong 6,000 technical support level on Sunday, which led to buying on Monday as many people are looking to buy at around the 6,000 level.”
The Saudi stock market has been pressured downward last week following five weeks of consecutive gains.
On Sunday, the Tadawul index fell to seven-week low dragged by petrochemical stocks.
Stocks are poised for exceptional gains, according to the National Commercial Bank’s weekly report released on Monday.
The report forecast the Tadawul index to reach closer to 6,500 by the end of 2011 as fundamental growth reassures investors’ sentiment.
Corporate earnings are on the rise and prices indicate an opportunity for investors as the market PE ratio reached 11.78 in October compared to 15.28 for 2010. Average daily traded volumes have been on the rise, since September, values have averaged SR5 billion, 18.4 percent higher than the YTD average.
Furthermore, the Saudi economy is expected to expand at 6 percent this year driven by robust revenues.
The economy has proved resilient to external shocks and is undergoing huge spending plans.
This should be reflected on stock prices but investors seem wary of the global sentiment.
Commenting on Monday’s rally, Jarmo T. Kotilaine, chief economist at the NCB, said: “The momentum clearly came from the petrochemicals sector, led by SABIC, although there was positive momentum in insurance as well.”
He added: “Generally speaking, reduced anxiety about the global economy and optimism about the oil price are positives for Saudi petrochemicals as they boost the demand and competitiveness prospects.”
He said the main factor behind the global market optimism seems to be the indications that the EU leaders will find more of a structural solution to the euro zone crisis through treaty revisions that would place binding limits on government borrowing. It is hoped that this would also open up the way for rescuing Spain and Italy from their current woes, while Italy also claim that it was not in bail-out talks with the IMF.
“While these steps are encouraging, the chances of timely implementation are in some doubt because of political divisions within the EU. Nor is it clear how they will take us closer to more effectively alleviating the current problems of excessive leverage and low growth. Under the circumstances, the optimism may once again prove rather ephemeral,” Kotilaine added.