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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s stock market managed a muffled gain of 26.98 points to close at 10,248 on Wednesday, operating cautiously ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision.

The Tadawul All-Share Index touched a high of 10,386 at 10:27 am Saudi Arabia time, buoyed by brief optimism over US inflation data that reported a smaller-than-expected increase over the past month.

The parallel market Nomu also fell 75 points to close at 18,641.19.

“Trading activity fell slightly as investors awaited the US Federal Reserve’s view on future rate hikes in its final rate move for the year today,” said Junaid Ansari, senior vice president of investment strategy. and research by Kamco Investment Co., with Arab News.

However, the pre-decline ratio was positive as 154 stocks out of a total of 220 were promoted, while 49 declined. The total trading turnover was nearly SR5.2 billion ($1.38 billion).

“The Australian market was up for the second day in a row, albeit marginally, mainly reflecting gains for most sectors which were partially offset mainly by a fall in the banking sector index,” a said Ansari.

The Healthcare Equipment & Services Index closed 4.43 percent higher to end at 9,175.39 points. The Diversified Financials Index rose 3.79 percent to end at 6,097.93, while the Software & Services Index scaled 3.59 percent to end at 36,142.67.

“The positive performance was in line with the broader GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) market, with gains in five of the seven regional exchanges,” Ansari said.

Among the GCC markets hit was the Qatar Stock Exchange, which closed 0.93 percent lower to end at 11,080.21 points. The Muscat Stock Exchange also slipped 0.06 percent at 4,866.48.

The rise in oil prices on Wednesday also played a positive role in raising regional sentiments.

“The gains in crude oil prices which crossed the $80 per barrel mark and traded at $81.3 per barrel also supported regional benchmarks,” Ansari said.

Saudi Aramco Base Oil Co., also known as Luberef, announced a subscription process to retail investors on Wednesday.

The subscription for the company’s 12.51 million shares, or 25 percent of the total offered, is at SR99 each, as determined by the book-building process. The process for the retail tranche will be open until December 18.

Regarding announcements, Red Sea International Co., in a statement on Tadawul, said it signed a contract worth SR192.01 million with the Royal Commission for AlUla to build an integrated housing complex in AlUla. The contract was awarded on 29 September. The share price remained almost flat at SR22.98.

Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. revealed. also that he signed three memorandums of understanding with investors to establish manufacturing plants in Páirc Raigh PlusTech.

Pure Life Industries Middle East Co. will supply 80,000 water filters and flat ceramic membranes per year in MT.

The company signed another one with Saudi Top Co. 50,000 tonnes per year of recycled polymer compounds were produced, and the third MT could lead to 100,000 tpa of recycled plastic resin for food applications.

The share price of Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co increased slightly. to close at SR10.78.

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