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Wed 24 Sep 2008 04:57 PM

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Gulf markets slump again

Volatility in Gulf markets continues after a US proposed bailout fails to restore investor confidence.

Volatility in Gulf markets continued on Wednesday with stocks slumping for a third day as international markets declined after a US move to rescue the financial system fails to restore investor confidence.

US stocks fell on Tuesday in the market's worst two-day slump in six years due to concerns the US Congress will delay a $700 billion bank bailout seen by many as critical to preventing a recession.

In the Gulf all seven main indexes ended the day in negative territory, led by banking stocks, with Saudi Arabia tumbling more than 4 percent and Dubai, Kuwait and Qatar over 3 percent.

"The global markets meltdown has certainly affected our markets," said Syed Quadry, equity sales vice president at Amwal Investment.

Saudi Arabia's main index ended more than 4 percent lower, led by Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) and Al-Rajhi Bank.

SABIC and Al-Rajhi fell 4.67 percent and 4.76 percent respectively. The benchmark fell 4.39 percent to 7,133 points.

Dubai Islamic Bank slid 7.12 percent and Emirates NBD 4.87 percent, weighing on the Dubai index which closed 3.97 percent lower at 3,890 points.

In Abu Dhabi, Arkan Building lost 4.89 percent and First Gulf Bank 1.91 percent, pulling the index down 2.29 percent to 3,811 points.

Qatar's measure declined 3.69 percent to 9,091 points, led by Commercial Bank of Qatar, which fell 5.18 percent.

Kuwait's benchmark edged 1.23 percent lower to 12,713 points, led by Kuwait Finance House, whichslid 3.42 percent.

In Oman Bank Muscat slid 1.81 percent, weighing on the index which closed 1.76 percent lower at 8,466 points.

Bahrain's main index ended 0.20 percent lower on 2,491.98 points.