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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index dialed up 82.60 points — or 0.78 percent — to close at 10,660.94 on Tuesday, as the monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index from Riyad Bank reported a sharp demand recovery and strongest job growth in almost five years. 

Tadawul All Share Index’s total trading turnover also increased to SR3.88 billion ($1.03 billion) from Monday’s SR3.67 billion. The market saw 162 of the listed 223 firms rise, while 44 lagged. 

“Saudi market witnessed gains for the third consecutive day resulting in a year-to-date gain of 1.7 percent in 2023 as it saw positive returns for the bulk of the sectors after the monthly PMI survey report,” Junaid Ansari, head of investment strategy and research at Kamco Invest, told Arab News. 

The sectoral pulse on Tuesday also revved up gains, as 19 of the 21 indices were northbound. The topmost gainer was the Food & Staples Retailing Index, which advanced 112.15 points to close at 8,802.64.  

Almost all large-cap stocks closed higher, with Saudi Arabian Mining Co. and ACWA Power Co. closing 1.34 percent and 1.4 percent up to SR68.10 and SR158.60, respectively. 

Parallel market Nomu and MSCI Tadawul 30 Index also rose 0.64 percent and 0.76 percent to close at 19,559.56 and 1,484.37, respectively. 

“The market sentiments were also positive thanks to the Hong Kong benchmark index gaining 1.8 percent on the first trading day of the year,” said Ansari. 

The move assumes significance as the Hang Seng Index braved a weak manufacturing survey from China and the dismal infection figures. Also noteworthy to mention is the overall gains happened even as oil prices took a hit. 

Brent crude futures fell $1.18 to $84.73 a barrel by 3.15 p.m. Riyadh time, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude slipped $1.10 to $79.16. 

Stock markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council region on Jan. 3 clocked mixed performance as Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Muscat posted marginal gains while Dubai, Kuwait and Bahrain closed lower. 

On the announcements front, Wafrah for Industry and Development Co. informed on Jan. 3 that it had signed a contract with Saudi Dairy and Foodstuff Co. for SR11.85 million. 

In a statement to Tadawul, Wafrah said it would produce frozen french fries under SADAFCO’s trade name, and the six-month contract is likely to increase its revenues. The breakfast food company became the best performer of the day as it closed 7.93 percent to end at SR29.95. 

On Tuesday, construction company Enma Al Rawabi Co. also announced that it signed an SR45.71 million contract with Saudi Mining Services Co. to lease a commercial building located on Takhassusi Street, Olaya District, Riyadh. The five-year contract will be effective as of May 15, 2023. 

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