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Stock News: Saudi Arabia Rises On Oil, Egypt Falls On Tax Concerns

Stock News: Saudi Arabia Rises On Oil, Egypt Falls On Tax Concerns

Brent crude hit a new 2015 high of $66.93 per barrel on Thursday before easing slightly on Friday.

Saudi Arabia’s bourse edged up in early trade on Sunday after oil prices hit a new high at the end of last week, while Egypt pulled back broadly as the Cairo government indicated it planned no major amendments to new stock market tax regulations.

Brent crude hit a new 2015 high of $66.93 per barrel on Thursday, when markets in the Gulf were already closed. It eased slightly on Friday to settle at $66.46 per barrel.

The main Saudi stock index rose 0.3 per cent to 9,851 points on Sunday and petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries , whose profits are set to rise as oil recovers, climbed 0.5 per cent.

Last week, Saudi Arabia’s index broke through major technical resistance in the 9,572-9,745 point area, where the 200-day average roughly coincides with the March peak. It now faces no major chart resistance before the September peak of 11,160 points.

Middle East Paper Co surged its daily 10 per cent limit upon listing after a heavily oversubscribed SAR450 million ($120 million) initial public offer. Saudi Arabian share offers are usually heavily discounted, prompting stocks to surge afterwards.

Egypt’s market edged down 0.4 per cent after the country’s finance minister said on Thursday that discussions over amendments to the capital gains and dividends tax concerned only the payment mechanism.

Investors unhappy with the new levies had hoped that they would be able to persuade the government to remove or change them, for example by replacing the capital gains tax with a stamp duty.

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