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Saudi Shares Advance on European Debt Optimism, Oil-Price Surge

Shares in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s biggest stock market, rose the most in 10 weeks after U.S. equities rallied on optimism that an accord among European leaders on banks will help contain the region’s debt crisis.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemicals maker, and Al-Rajhi Bank, the kingdom’s biggest bank by market value, advanced the most since April 17. National Industrialization Co. gained the most since June 4. The Tadawul All Share Index rose 1.9 percent to 6,709.01 at the 3:30 p.m. close in the capital Riyadh.

“The Saudi market was supported by positive news from the European summit,” Turki Fadaak, the head of research at Albilad Investment Co. in Riyadh, said today. “This led to a strong rise in oil and commodity prices.”

Global stocks rallied on the last day of the week, with the S&P 500 surging 2.5 percent for its biggest advance of the year, as euro-area leaders agreed to relax conditions on emergency loans for Spanish banks and possible help for Italy. In the U.S., economic reports during the week showed that home sales and orders for durable goods rebounded while consumer spending stalled and confidence among Americans declined to the lowest level this year.

Oil rose the most in more than three years on speculation that Europe’s debt crisis may be contained. Oil for August delivery gained $7.27 to settle at $84.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday.

Saudi Basic Industries, known as Sabic, gained 3.9 percent to 92.75 riyals, while Rajhi Bank jumped 2.8 percent to 73.75 riyals. National Industrialization advanced 2.3 percent to 31 riyals.

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

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