Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia’s shares rose the most in almost a month as investors bought shares of petrochemical companies in anticipation of better-than-expected earnings from Saudi Basic Industries Corp.
Sabic, the world’s biggest petrochemical maker, gained the most since July 10 before reporting a 46 percent increase in third-quarter earnings after markets closed. Astra Industrial Group, a company with interests in pharmaceutical, chemical and fertilizers, climbed 2.2 percent, after third-quarter profit rose. Yanbu National Petrochemicals Co. added 3.1 percent. The Tadawul All Share Index snapped four days of losses, rising 0.5 percent, the most since Sept. 20, to 6,260.55 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh. Most Middle East markets were little changed.
“Investors took advantage of the selloff, seeing recent pullbacks as overdone ahead of Sabic’s results,” said Amro Halwani, a trader at Shuaa Capital PSC in Saudi Arabia.
The Tadawul declined 3 percent in the previous four trading days. Sabic rose 2.3 percent to 89 riyals, paring the decline for the month to 0.8 percent. Net income advanced to 5.33 billion riyals ($1.42 billion) from 3.65 billion riyals a year earlier. The median of five analyst estimates was for a profit of 4.63 billion riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Astra increased to 42.4 riyals. The company yesterday posted a 49 percent increase in third-quarter profit to 80.6 million riyals. Yansab, a unit of Sabic, jumped to 39.5 riyals. The company last week reported net income of 356.2 million riyals for the period after a loss a year earlier.
In the United Arab Emirates, the DFM General Index retreated 0.1 percent to 1,744.46 as 12 stocks fell, seven rose and 13 were unchanged. The benchmark index has gained 19 percent so far in the second half of the year. Abu Dhabi’s measure increased 0.2 percent, bringing the advance in the second half to 9.9 percent.
“Investors are waiting at the sidelines as they anticipate third-quarter results,” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive officer of Gulfmena Alternative Investments in Dubai. “There’s a little profit-taking. But we expect the recent rally to continue.”
Crude for November delivery fell 1.7 percent to $81.25 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Oct. 15 after a strengthening U.S. dollar curbed the appeal of commodities as an alternative investment. The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council supply about a fifth of the world’s oil.
Oman’s MSM30 Index and Qatar’s measure lost 0.1 percent, while Bahrain’s gauge rose 0.1 percent. The Kuwait SE Price Index increased 0.3 percent. In North Africa, Egypt’s EGX 30 Index slipped 0.1 percent.
Israel’s TA-25 Index fell 0.2 percent to 1,254.60. The country’s benchmark 5 percent Mimshal Shiklit government bond due January 2020 dropped for a fourth day, pushing the yield 3 basis points higher to 4.37 percent.
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