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Saudi shares drop on global concern


Pic: Agencies

Dubai: Saudi Arabia's shares slid for the sixth day, led by petrochemicals and banks, on concerns about regional tensions and the global economy.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), the world's largest petrochemical maker,  and Samba Financial Group, the second-largest lender in the kingdom, dropped the most in five days. Al Rajhi Bank, the largest Saudi lender, declined to the lowest value since October 23.

The Tadawul All-Share Index declined 0.7 per cent to 6768.73, the lowest level since October 24. The Arab world's biggest bourse has gained 5.4 per cent this year.

"The Saudi market has been under pressure for the past several sessions partly as a result of escalating regional tensions," Asim Bukhtiar, senior analyst at Riyad Capital, said in an e-mail.

"Increasingly consensus is building for a weak 2013 for the global economy which is tempering domestic optimism." Stocks have tumbled around the world on concern that the so-called United States fiscal cliff will push the world's largest economy into a recession at the beginning of next year.

Sabic lost 1.1 per cent to 89.25 riyals. Samba dropped 1.5 per cent to 46.20 riyals, while Al Rajhi slid 1.1 per cent to 69 riyals. Saudi Arabia's stock exchange is the only Gulf bourse operating on Saturdays.

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