Saudi Shares Rise to Three-Month High After U.S. Jobs Report

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) --Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index rose to the highest in more than three months after a U.S. jobs report beat an estimate and boosted global markets while investors await domestic fourth-quarter earnings.

Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdom’s biggest bank by market value, climbed the most since Nov. 21, while Etihad Etisalat Co. (EEC), the country’s second-largest telecommunications operator, increased to the highest level in six years. Saudi Basic Industries Corp., known as Sabic, advanced to the highest since Dec. 22.

The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) gained 1 percent to 7,010 by the close in Riyadh. That’s the highest since Sept. 22, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange is the only Persian Gulf bourse that trades on Saturdays.

The S&P 500 (SPX) rose to the highest since December 2007 yesterday, gaining after a U.S. Labor Department report showed 155,000 jobs were added last month. That was higher than a median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, which called for a 152,000 increase.

“The market reacted to positive jobs numbers out of the U.S. and the S&P hitting a five-year high,” Asim Bukhtiar, senior analyst at Riyad Capital, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Domestically, the earnings season kicks off this week and investors are positioning ahead of results announcements.”

Al Rajhi Bank increased 1.1 percent to 67.5 riyals ($18), while Etihad Etisalat climbed 2.3 percent to 78.5 riyals. Sabic, the world’s largest petrochemical maker, rose 0.8 percent to 92.25 riyals.

To contact the reporter on this story: Deema Almashabi in Riyadh at dalmashabi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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