RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s stock market wrapped up a positive trading session amid heightened investor sentiment, with the main index, TASI, trading above the 12,000 level for the first time in over 15 years.
At the closing bell, TASI extended four-day gains, up 1 percent to 12,079 points, while the parallel Nomu market edged up to 26,263 points.
This was driven by by major market players, banks in particular, and higher oil prices.
Among the risers were Aramco, the Saudi National Bank, or SNB, and Al Rajhi Bank.
Shares in Aramco were up 1 percent. The oil giant is to acquire a 30-percent stake in Poland’s largest refiner PKN Orlen, it announced on Wednesday.
SNB – the Kingdom’s largest lender – added 1.5 percent, after completing the offer of $750 million worth of Shariah-compliant bonds, namely Sukuk.
Other banks, Riyad Bank and Bank Albilad led the gains, jumping over 5 percent each. Shares in Alinma Bank also weighed TASI higher, up 1.7 percent.
The hike was buoyed further by a 4.5 percent jump in the share price of utility provider ACWA Power, which started operations at the largest independent water desalination plant, namely Rabigh Three Co. IWP.
Losses were trivial when compared to wins today. The highest faller, the Co. for Cooperative Insurance, better known as Tawuinya, was down 3 percent.
In energy trading, Brent crude settled at $84.4 per barrel, and US WTI crude oil reached $82.1 per barrel as of 3:48 p.m. Saudi time.