Saudi Stocks Advance as Drop in Petrochemicals Deemed Overdone

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index climbed to the highest level in more than a week as investors deemed a drop in petrochemical stocks was overdone after better-than-expected U.S. jobs data.

Saudi Industrial Investment Group advanced the most in almost a year on volume of 1.4 times the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co., or Safco, rose to the highest level since Dec 23. The Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.4 percent to 7,027.49, the strongest since Feb. 25, at the close in Riyadh.

Volume on the Saudi bourse increased to 172 million shares today, the most in more than a week, after data showed U.S. employment rose 236,000 last month. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose within 1 percent of a record high after the figure beat the median 165,000 forecast of 90 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The Saudi petrochemicals index climbed 0.7 percent today, having fallen to a 2013 low on March 4.

Saudi stocks were “supported by the increase in the petrochemical sector coming after positive U.S. job market data released on Friday,” Turki Fadaak, head of research and consultancy at Albilad Investment Co., said by e-mail today. “This led to an increase in the demand for petrochemicals” after last week’s lows, he said.

Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange is the only Persian Gulf bourse that trades on Saturdays. Saudi Industrial jumped 2.7 percent, the most since April 28, to 22.75 riyals. Safco increased 1 percent to 156.50 riyals.

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