x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Tadawul trade closes mostly flat

Saudi Arabian stocks closed flat Saturdayafter markets mostly shrugged off a failed attempt to assassinate Saudi Arabia's security chief.

Saudi Arabian stocks closed flat Saturdayafter markets mostly shrugged off a failed attempt to assassinate Saudi Arabia's security chief, who is also a prominent member of the royal family. "I am surprised at the markets' reaction, but they seemed to shake it [the failed attempt] off," said Ali Khan, the managing director and head of brokerage at Arqaam Capital in Dubai.

"Initially it did cross my mind, whether this would be conceived as a real threat, and we would see a real meltdown. But apparently it was taken off as a one-off." On Thursday, a suicide bomber posing as a repentant militant failed to kill Prince Mohammed bin Nayef at his Jeddah office in the first known attack on a Saudi royal since al Qa'eda began a bloody campaign in the country in 2003. The Tadawul All Share Index closed the day 0.41 per cent lower at 5,732.20.

Stocks put in an overall mixed performance, with some of the big oil-related companies such as Petrochem and SABIC falling, while Sisco, a mixed industrial company, posted a gain. Saudi Petrochemical declined 1.7 per cent to close at 14.40 riyals and SABIC closed down 1.06 per cent at 70.25 riyals. Sisco rose 4.35 per cent to close at 14.40 riyals. Elsewhere, the market lacked a strong catalyst to focus on, said Mr Khan. "Oil did not put in a really good show on Friday," he said.

Crude oil for September delivery settled at US$72.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Mr Khan said he expected the markets to trade in a narrow range in the foreseeable future, taking their cues from the international markets. US stocks fell on Friday, despite the jewellery retailer Tiffany & Co boosting its full-year earnings view and the technology giants Dell and Intel making other upbeat comments. The decline was attributed to a slip in economic data that raised concerns about the state of the consumer.

The Tadawul is the only Arab market that is open on Saturdays. uharnischfeger@thenational.ae