The Saudi government conducted a new and successful experiment for all citizens and expatriate and foreign workers heralded great news for the purpose of returning life to normal and was among those stock market experiences for the advancement of the Saudi economy.
Most of the stocks in the Gulf declined, and the UAE led the losses, as financial and real estate companies were hit by the Corona virus crisis, while Aramco's gains helped the Saudi index to buck the downward trend.
The main index of the Saudi stock market compensated for its early losses, to close up 0.2%, thanks to an increase in the share of giant oil company Aramco 1.7%.
Yanbu National Petrochemical shares advanced 5.4%.
The Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), the fourth largest petrochemical company in the world, announced incurring losses in the first quarter of the year due to allocations of depreciation of assets and less demand for its products in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The stock closed stable, according to the agency "Reuters".
SABIC recorded a net loss of 0.95 billion riyals in the first quarter of 2020, a decrease of 20% compared to a net loss of 0.79 billion riyals in the previous quarter.
Total sales in the first quarter amounted to 30.83 billion Saudi riyals, a decrease of 18% compared to the same quarter of 2019 and a decrease of 6% compared to the previous quarter.
Gulf stock trading
The main index in Dubai fell to close down 1.1%. Emaar Properties, the leading shareholder, lost 2.7%, and its unit, Emaar Malls, lost 4.1%.
On Thursday, Moody's changed its outlook for the two companies to negative from stable, due to what it said was the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dubai's real estate sector has been suffering for years from oversupply and slow economic growth.
However, the decline was limited by a leap for the share of the Arab Islamic Insurance Company (Salama), following the increase in the foreign ownership ceiling to 49% from 25%.
Separately, the International Bureau of Exhibitions overseeing the Dubai Expo 2020 said today that it is scheduled to formally approve the postponement of the exhibition for a year after the approval of more than two thirds of the Member States.
The exhibition thus takes place on October 1, 2021, and runs until March 21, 2022, about a year after the original plan.
The Abu Dhabi index fell 1.7% under pressure of a decrease of 2.3% in the share of the country's largest bank, Abu Dhabi First, and fell by 3.7% for the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank share.
In Egypt, the index fell 1.2%, while Commercial International Bank shares fell 1% and Citadel Holding fell 4.4% after suffering losses in the fourth quarter.