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Gulf stock markets decline continues

Dubai, September 16, 2008

Stock markets in the the Gulf continued their decline in early trading as a sharp fall in Asian, European and American stocks dent investor sentiment regionally.

Qatar's main index tumbled more than 7 per cent to its lowest level in almost one year, led by declines in Industries Qatar and Qatar Telecommunications Co (Qtel) as global stock markets fell.

Industries Qatar lost 7.14 percent and Qtel 8.01 per cent. The index, down more than 14 percent this year, declined to 7,750 points, its lowest level since Sept. 19 last year.

Dubai, which lost more than 5 percent in the past two days, is down 3.56 percent to 3,900 points. Emaar Properties fell 5.27 percent and Arabtec Holding lost 6.81 per cent.

In Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank fell 7.69 percent, First Gulf Bank 5.92 percent and Aldar Properties 6.13 percent. The measure, down more than 17 percent this year, declines 1.95 percent to 3,681 points.      

Oman's main index extended losses into a fifth session, led by a fall in banking shares as key players stayed out of the market due to the fall in global stock markets.

Bank Muscat and National Bank of Oman shed 5.3 percent and 6.46 per cent respectively.

"Banks are generally down because globally sentiment is very weak. Big local players have not come into the market as
international bad news is affecting everyone," says Syed Quadry, senior research analyst at Amwal Investment.

"Until serious big players come into the market, the market will continue its downtrend, but let's wait and see what happens in the next week or two."

The benchmark, the Gulf Arab region's best performer last year, loses 3.01 percent to 7,935 points. - Reuters




Tags: DFM | Gulf stocks | decline |

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