MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises from chart support, data caps Egypt
The Egyptian Exchange - YOUM7 (Archive)
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CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose slightly from near technical support early on Wednesday, while poor economic data continued to weigh on Egypt.

The Saudi stock index edged up 0.3 percent to 6,974 points after falling to 6,955 points on Tuesday following Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the kingdom’s debt. It has support at its August low of 6,921 points.

Al-Rajhi Bank rose 1.5 percent. Late on Tuesday, Fitch Ratings lowered the outlooks for the Long-term Issuer Default Ratings of Saudi British Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi and Arab National Bank to negative from stable, citing a tougher operating environment caused by low oil prices, but the banks’ shares were flat to higher.

Leading petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries gained 1.2 percent.

Saudi Printing and Packaging Co, which has been soaring since shortly after it reported quarterly earnings on Oct. 20, added a further 7.0 percent.

Egypt’s index edged down 0.1 percent despite strength in global equity markets. Data released on Tuesday showed the Egyptian Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures private sector activity, fell to an eight-month low of 47.2 in October from 50.2 in September, dropping below the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

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