Saudi Shares Extend Losses on Crisis in Europe, Mideast Turmoil

Saudi Arabian shares extended losses for a fourth day after global stocks fell on growing anxiety that Europe’s debt crisis will spread and as violence in Egypt and possible sanctions on Syria raised concern about regional stability.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., or Sabic, the world’s biggest petrochemicals maker, fell for the seventh day in nine and its unit Yanbu National Petrochemicals Co., known as Yansab, fell to its lowest price in eight months.

The Tadawul All Share Index weakened 0.5 percent to 6,057.59, its lowest level since Oct. 5 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh. The 149-company gauge extended losses in the past four days to 2.4 percent. Two shares dropped for every stock that rose.

“International sentiment is weighing on Saudi Tadawul, international markets have traded in the red for more than five sessions now,” said Samer Darwiche, an analyst at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai. “This is coupled by some regional unrest in Egypt and Syria.”

U.S. stocks tumbled in the worst Thanksgiving-week loss for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since 1932 and European stocks posted their biggest weekly drop in two months. The S&P 500 has fallen for seven days, the longest streak in four months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4.8 percent. The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 4.6 percent

Protesters Occupied Square

In Cairo yesterday, protesters occupied Tahrir Square demanding that Egypt’s generals cede power even after the military council asked former Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri to form a new government.

Syria may face sanctions from Arab League countries after missing a deadline to allow monitors from the bloc to enter the country. The league’s Social and Economic Council will meet today to discuss possible measures against Syria, and will make recommendations to foreign ministers due to convene tomorrow.

In Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province, four people were killed and nine wounded in clashes between Shiite Muslims and security forces, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Nov. 24.

Sabic dropped 1.4 percent to 90.25 riyals. Yansab declined 1.9 percent to 41.90 riyals, its lowest price since March 5.

“The market may strengthen in the coming few days when the state budget is released.” said Turki Fadaak, head of research at Riyadh-based Albilad Investment Co.

Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange is the only Gulf Arab bourse open on Saturdays.

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