March 16 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabian shares advanced for a second day, led by Saudi Basic Industries Corp., after the U.S.’s benchmark index climbed to a near-record high this week.
Saudi Basic Industries, the world’s largest petrochemical maker, rose to the highest level since Feb. 16. The Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.4 percent to 7051.18, the highest since Feb. 18, in Riyadh. The Arab world’s biggest stock exchange has added 3.7 percent this year, compared with the Dubai Financial Market’s gain of 18 percent.
National Medical Care has increased four-fold from its book value price of 27 riyals a share since it started trading on March 13.
“The attention is now on the newcomer to the market National Medical Care, which was listed last Wednesday,” said Mohammed Al-Omran, a financial analyst and president of the Gulf Center for Financial Consultancy in Riyadh. “The book building valued the stock at 27 riyals, and it closed at 122 riyals a share on the first day. The market is speculative driven by National Medical Care.”
U.S. stocks climbed for the week, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index within five points of a record high, as better-than-estimated retail sales and jobless claims data boosted optimism in the world’s largest economy. The S&P 500 advanced 0.6 percent to 1,560.70, for its third straight weekly gain. The Dow climbed for a fourth week, adding 117.04 points, or 0.8 percent, to 14,514.11.
National Medical Care dropped 9.8 percent to 110 riyals at the close. Saudi Basic Industries advanced 0.5 percent to 94 riyals.
Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange is the only Persian Gulf bourse operating on Saturdays.
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