Petrochemical stocks, including market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), led the Saudi bourse to a higher close amid optimism that an anti-dumping row with China and India was nearing an end.
The all-share TASI index ended up 0.44 percent with the heavyweight petrochemical stocks' index making the day's strongest gains and consolidating its position as the second biggest gaining sector in 2009 ahead of banking index.
Shares in SABIC ended 1.8 percent higher and Saudi International Petrochemicals Co (Siphem) rose 1.48 percent.
Al Rajhi Bank, the biggest listed bank, closed 0.68 percent lower having kicked off the session with gains of up to 1.4 percent.
SABIC has said that it sees an end to disputes with India and China over anti-dumping measures against the world's biggest petrochemicals firm.
On Saturday, Sipchem said Chinese authorities announced on Thursday a decrease on the import duty they impose on butanediol to 4.5 percent from about 20 percent initially.
"There is no doubt that this is a positive development," Sipchem's Chief Executive Ahmad al-Ohali told al-Arabiya Television channel noting that butanediol accounted for at least 20 percent of his firm's exports to China during the first half.
India and China have both launched anti-dumping measures against Gulf firms including SABIC, Saudi media has reported.
SABIC and two affiliates - Kayan Petrochemical Co and Yanbu National Petrochemicals Co (Yansab) were among the five most traded stocks by turnover.
Earlier on Saturday, Kayan said it has signed a preliminary agreement with South Korea's Daelim Industrial Co to build a petrochemical plant. (Reuters)For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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