Saudi Shares Fall After U.S. Stocks Declined on Payrolls Data

Saudi Arabian shares slid for the first time in three trading sessions, led by petrochemical companies and banks following U.S. markets after lower-than-expected employment data.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemical maker, known as Sabic, dropped the most since March 31, while Jabal Omar Development Co., a property developer in Mecca, declined the most since June 2012. Al Rajhi Bank, the largest Saudi lender by market value, fell the most in more than three weeks.

The Tadawul All-Share Index declined 0.9 percent, the steepest drop since Jan. 21, to 7113.74 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh. The Arab world’s biggest bourse has gained 4.6 percent this year.

“The decline in today’s trading is attributed to the drop witnessed in international capital markets but mainly U.S. markets that tumbled over the Saudi weekend,” Mohammed Al-Omran, a financial analyst and president of the Gulf Center for Financial Consultancy in Riyadh, said by e-mail.

U.S. stocks fell, capping the biggest weekly decline of the year for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, after data showed the nation added less than half the number of jobs economists forecast in March.

Sabic lost 0.3 percent to 97.25 riyals, while Jabal Omar Development Co. slipped 4.5 percent to 25.5 riyals. Al Rajhi dropped 1.1 percent to 65 riyals.

Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange is the only Persian Gulf bourse operating on Saturdays.