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Saudi Arabia ETFs Pop on New Khashoggi Development

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

Saudi Arabia ETFs climbed Tuesday on the potentially reduced risk of U.S. punitive action as the kingdom may acknowledge journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared due to a botched investigation.

Saudi Arabia ETFs were among the best performers Tuesday, with the iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia Capped ETF (KSA) up 5.8%. Investors can also take a look at the recently launched Franklin FTSE Saudi Arabia ETF (FLSA) for a cheap way to access the Saudi Arabia market.

Saudi Arabia markets strengthened amid speculation funds tied to the government could be buying and diminished risk of U.S. action after media outlets in the U.S. said the kingdom is prepping a report that states the writer died due to an unsanctioned and mishandled interrogation, Bloomberg reports.

Riyadh has denied accusations that it murdered the columnist and began its own investigation. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo visited Saudi Arabia to discuss Khashoggi.

Tadawul All Share Index

The benchmark Tadawul All Share Index weakened earlier in the week on concerns the country's relationship with the U.S. could be damaged due to the disappearance. However, Saudi Arabia's market jumped as some analysts speculated that government-related funds were supporting the securities.

“There is no transparency in the stock market, and it is difficult to say who is supporting the market at the moment,” Naeem Aslam, the chief market analyst at Think Markets UK, told Bloomberg. "But under these circumstances, it is highly likely that funds tied to the government would intervene to restore confidence -- which is a rare commodity now.”

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The Middle Eastern country is currently up for reclassification from FTSE Russell and MSCI as both indexers have announced earlier this year that Saudi Arabia will be upgraded to emerging market status, which previously bolstered sentiment for the market among international investors. The latest on actions from government funds may be a way for Riyadh to strengthen sentiment on the emerging market in the wake of the Khashoggi saga.

“It already appears that the outline of a potential face-saving deal is emerging” on the Khashoggi probe, Michael Every, the head of Asia financial markets research at Rabobank, wrote in a note.

For more information on the developing economies, visit our emerging markets category.