Photographer: Tasneem Alsultan/Bloomberg

The Days Saudi State Gifts Would Spur a Stock Rally May Be Over

Updated on

It used to be a given that when the Saudi government announced bonuses or said it would pump more money into the economy, it would trigger a frenzy of share-buying by locals. Not anymore.

Saudi individuals have been net sellers of stocks for the past 84 weeks through the end of 2017, even after the kingdom reinstated allowances and bonuses, announced its first expansionary budget in years and a $19 billion program to boost private-sector growth.

The authorities late Saturday announced plans to spend billions to help Saudis cope with value-added tax and an increase in gasoline and utility prices. The money isn’t much, but it’s a gesture. The question is whether it’s enough to end the selling streak.

The Tadawul All Share Index extended its gain to a third day, advancing 0.6 percent on Sunday.

Read More: Politics Trumps Oil Advance: Guide to Mideast Markets in ’18

— With assistance by Filipe Pacheco

(Updates with Saudi stocks prices in the fourth paragraph.)
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