Saudi stocks up as oil steady around $40 at early Thursday trade

Petrochemical stocks boosted Saudi Arabia’s stock market in early trade Thursday.

Riyadh’s index gained 0.8 percent as oil prices steadied over $40 a barrel. PetroRabigh added 1.4 percent after the company said it would book around 750 million riyals ($200 million) in sales revenue this year with the full start-up of its expanded ethane cracker.

Mouwasat Medical Services climbed 3.7 percent after it signed an agreement with oil giant Saudi Aramco to provide healthcare services for another two years. According to a bourse statement, the new contract’s revenue will rise by at least 10 percent. Over the past five years, yearly revenue from Aramco averaged about 184 million riyals.

The retail sector, which took a hit on Wednesday after major electronics retailer Jarir Marketing warned that its sales would plunge as much as 30 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, stabilised. Jarir, which sank 9.1 percent on Wednesday, added 0.2 percent.

Source: Reuters