Egypt falls on security worries, Saudi market flat

Egyptian traders work at the stock market in Cairo, Egypt. (File photo: AP)

Egypt's stock market fell in early trade on Thursday because of security worries after bloody clashes with militants in Sinai.

Reopening after a two-day holiday, the market slid 0.5 percent to 8,333 points. It has been falling for a month, heading for a test of technical support at its May low of 8,261 points.

The army said on Wednesday that more than 100 militants and 17 soldiers were killed after simultaneous assaults on military checkpoints in North Sinai. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.

This followed the assassination of Egypt's top public prosecutor in a car bomb attack in Cairo on Monday. Although investors have been willing to tolerate sporadic militant violence in Egypt over the last year, some may worry that this week's events mark an escalation.

Financial firm Qalaa Holdings and real estate firm Palm Hills Development each slid 1.5 percent.

Telecom Egypt rose 2.0 percent after the telecommunications minister said it was expected to acquire a long-delayed 4G mobile licence next year.

The Saudi index edged down 0.1 percent as petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries lost 0.2 percent and Saudi Ground Services pulled back 0.5 percent after soaring since its listing on Thursday.

PetroRabigh climbed 2.5 percent after saying it would pay a cash dividend of 0.5 riyal per share for 2014. It is the first time that PetroRabigh is paying a dividend since at least 2010, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Takween continued to surge in unusually heavy trade, climbing 8.1 percent to a record high of 87.00 riyals. On Wednesday it had soared 9.2 percent.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:56 - GMT 10:56
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