Saudi Shares Retreat to Lowest Level in Month Before Earnings

Shares in Saudi Arabia, the only Gulf Arab stock market open on Saturdays, fell to the lowest level in more than a month as investors awaited quarterly results and after oil had its biggest weekly decline in three months.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemicals maker known as Sabic, dropped for the fifth day. Samba Financial Group, Saudi Arabia’s second-biggest listed bank by market value, lost 1.1 percent. The Tadawul All Share Index retreated 0.4 percent to 7,031.04, the lowest level since Aug. 15, at the close in Riyadh.

“Investors are waiting for third-quarter results,” Turki Fadaak, head of research at Albilad Investment Co. in Riyadh, said in a telephone interview today. “There are mixed views for the petrochemical sector.”

Saudi Arabia, the biggest Arab economy that depends on oil exports to support government spending, is the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Crude oil rose 1.1 percent to $92.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday, the first gain in five days and trimming a drop for the week to 6.2 percent. The Tadawul retreated 0.7 percent last week.

Oil may decline next week after data from Asia, Europe and North America increased investors’ concern that global economic growth is slowing, a Bloomberg survey showed. A Chinese manufacturing survey last week signaled the industry contracted for an 11th consecutive month, while Japan’s exports declined in August. A report on Sept. 20 showed euro-area services and industrial output fell to a 39-month low this month.

Sabic, which has the heaviest weighting on Saudi Arabia’s index, dropped 1.1 percent to 91.50 riyals, the lowest level since Sept. 11. The company may announce a 31 percent decrease in third-quarter profit to 5.6 billion riyals ($1.5 billion), according to an estimate from Al Rajhi Capital. Samba, which may announce results on Oct. 15, fell to 45.90 riyals, the lowest close since July 29.

Saudi Arabia’s stock market will be closed tomorrow for a holiday.

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