Saudi Arabia’s stock benchmark Tadawul All Share Index dropped 1.43 percent Monday to close at 6,756.99 points on concern quarterly results at the Kingdom’s biggest companies including Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) may miss estimates.About 121 million shares were traded on the Tadawul so far, compared with a 12-month daily average of 327 million shares. Saudi Airlines Catering Co. rose 19 percent to SR64.5 in its trading debut after the shares were priced at SR54 each. Qassim Cement Co. fell 1.5 percent after second-quarter profit missed analysts’ forecasts. "Investors are waiting for results of the bigger Saudi companies, including Sabic, and are worried some may disappoint," said Turki Fadaak, head of research at Riyadh- based Albilad Investment Co.Shares in Sabic fell 1.1 percent. The petrochemical producer’s second-quarter profit is forecast to decline 18.8 percent.“Petrochemical earnings will be interesting because a lot of end-product prices weakened and were very volatile in Q2,” said Ibrahim Masood, senior investment officer at Mashreq.Zain Saudi fell 4.5 percent to a new record low as shareholders cut positions to avoid being diluted in the indebted telecom operator’s $1.6 billion rights issue, which starts Tuesday. “The launch of the rights issue is just a preliminary step – Zain Saudi faces a very big challenge to get current shareholders to participate,” said Amine Bentaleb, director of asset management at Arqaam Capital in Dubai.
Dollar up in Asia on Fed easing speculation
The dollar moved towards five-year highs against the yen in Asia Friday as investors bet that the US Federal Reserve will announce a start to its long-awaited stimulus pull back when it meets next we