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Sat 3 Apr 2010 12:39 PM

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Saudi bourse up, driven by petchems

SABIC and higher oil prices drive Saudi stocks to a higher close on Saturday.

Saudi bourse up, driven by petchems
(Getty Images)

Petrochemical stocks, led by heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), and higher oil prices drive Saudi stocks to a higher close.

SABIC shares closed 1.5 percent higher after the company says that it started commercial production at a 2.8 million tonne expansion.

The petrochemicals index gained 0.8 percent to 6,128 points while the all-share benchmark TASI added 0.4 percent to 6,827 points.

US crude oil futures close the trading week with a fourth straight session on Thursday, settling at $85.20 a barrel.

"The local market sentiments are buoyed by expectations of good quarterly earnings and continuous surge on oil prices that moved quickly to trade above $85," said Mohammed Ishaq Ali, fund manager at al-Rajhi Capital.

Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Maaden) closed 0.3 percent lower having recorded gains earlier in the session after announcing that Alcoa cut its stake in a planned $10.8 billion aluminium complex in the kingdom by more than a third.

"The market will take this news with a pinch of salt in the near term. The market will look forward to Maaden's plan to substitute them," Ishaq says. (Reuters)