JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia’s bourse fell to a five-month low Wednesday on jitters about political uncertainty in the region and weak oil prices, raising investor concerns that the world’s top oil exporter may reduce the size of a $500 billion government stimulus.
The Saudi stock benchmark Tadawul All Share Index lost 1.66 percent to close Wednesday at 6,585.63 points, its lowest close since Jan. 30. It also marked its largest one-day decline in four weeks.
The price of oil is climbing on upbeat reports about the US economy.
Benchmark crude rose 52 cents Wednesday to $79.88 per barrel in morning trading in New York. Brent crude gained 43 cents to $93.45 per barrel in London.
Elsewhere, UAE bourses ended lower, with volumes in Dubai falling to a one-month low.
Dubai’s index shed 0.2 percent, moving in a sideways trend since mid-May.
A total of 28.9 million shares changed hands during the session, the lowest daily trade since May 27. Low volumes are a sign investors are losing interest in the market amid thin local news flow.
Abu Dhabi measure declined 0.5 percent to 2,470 points.
Kuwait measure eased 0.06 percent to 5,821 points.
Oman index eased 0.09 percent to 5,652 points.
Bahrain measure dipped 0.4 percent to 1,124 points.
However, Egypt rose for a third day since Mohamed Mursi’s presidential victory, Cairo’s main index gained 0.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabia treasury-bill yields were little changed at an auction Wednesday.
The yield on the one-year notes was 0.57304 percent compared with 0.57403 percent at last week’s sale.
The yield on the three-month and six-month notes were little changed at 0.37380 percent and 0.44975 percent respectively. The one-week and one-month bill yields were unchanged at 0.11366 percent and 0.20215 percent. Loans to private businesses in the Kingdom grew 13.4 percent in April from the year earlier, the fastest pace in three years. – SG/Agencies