Saudi Arabia's shares declined yesterday, weighed by petrochemical companies, amid a drop in oil prices.
The Tadawul All-Share Index fell 0.3 per cent to 6,801.22 points.
Brent crude slipped toward $109 per barrel yesterday, dropping for a third straight session on worries the United States may not reach a deal to prevent a fiscal crisis that could erode fuel demand at the world's largest oil consumer.
The sector "has been very lacklustre and underperformed others," said Saleem Khokhar, the head of equities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. "It could recover in 2013, demand in China seems to be coming back and valuations are more reasonable."
Advanced Petrochemical lost 0.3 per cent to 26.20 riyals a share. Basic Chemical Industries lost 1.4 per cent to 26.80 riyals. Methanol Chemicals slipped 0.3 per cent to 13.35 riyals. Nama Chemicals declined 1.1 per cent to 12.85 riyals. The Petrochemical Industries Index fell 0.1 per cent to 5,856.40.
In the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index added 0.1 per cent to 2,630.86 points, led by energy stocks.
Shares in Dana Gas, the explorer and producer, gained 2.2 per cent to 45 fils each. It announced new finds in Egypt on Sunday.
The Dubai Financial Market General Index slipped 0.4 per cent to 1,622.53 points.
Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's market slipped 0.2 per cent to 5,934.28. Bahrain's bourse lost 0.7 per cent to 1,065.61.
Oman's MSM 30 Index added 0.5 per cent to 5,760.84. Qatar's QE Index advanced 0.7 per cent to 8,358.94 points.
* With Reuters