1300 GMT - Saudi stocks closed slightly higher on Saturday after
the government announced a 2013 state budget which analysts said
was likely to support continued strong economic growth next
The market declined early on in response to a drop in global
oil prices on Friday, but rebounded after the budget details
were released. The government plans to spend 820 billion riyals
($219 billion) in 2013, 19 percent higher than the 690 billion
riyals earmarked for 2012.
Analysts said actual spending in 2013 would probably exceed
the 853 billion riyals that the government actually spent this
year. The budget announcement was not a surprise, but it was
seen as mildly positive for domestic demand-related stocks.
Budget spending will focus on education, health and transport
The all-share index gained 0.2 percent to 6,877
points, even though petrochemicals fell slightly in response to
the global picture, with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC)
down 0.3 percent.
0810 GMT - Saudi stocks are little changed in early trade
after opening slightly lower in response to the drop of oil
prices on Friday.
Oil prices settled lower on Friday after U.S. data showed a
sharp rise in gasoline inventories and as investors worried that
U.S. budget negotiators may not reach a deal in time to avert a
fiscal crisis that could erode oil demand.
The all-share index is up 0.1 percent to 6,876
points. Shares in petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries
(SABIC) drop 0.3 percent.
Immediate, minor resistance for the index lies around 6,900
points, where it peaked last week, with stronger resistance at
the early November peak of 6,961 points.
Some Saudi media reported that the 2013 state budget is
likely to be announced on Saturday and hopes that it will
include a rise in government spending are expected to continue
helping to support stocks.
(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Andrew Torchia)