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Wed 7 Mar 2012 04:14 PM

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Oman extends stock market slide

Oman bourse ends lower for second day in a row as bank stocks fall

Oman extends stock market slide
Bank Muscat, the largest stock by market value, falls 1.6 percent.

Oman's index ends lower for a second day as banks weigh, with Muscat's stocks tracking declines in other Gulf markets.

Bank Muscat, the largest stock by market value, falls 1.6 percent, Oman International Bank drops 1.4 percent and National Bank of Oman slides 1 percent.

"Today's fall is not because the market is weak, but driven by falls in Dubai and other regional markets," says Adel Nasr, United Securities brokerage manager.

"This is a correction and the market will recover these losses by Sunday."

Oman's index falls 0.7 percent to 5,826 points, trimming its year-to-date gains to 2.3 percent. It rose for nine straight sessions to Monday's close.

"Volumes today were the highest for two to three years," adds Nasr.

"The main reason for that is because our retail traders are coming back after an absence of a couple of years, while local pension funds have also been buying heavily.

"Non-Omani investors have also been net buyers over the last five sessions."

Saudi Arabia's benchmark eases from Tuesday's 42-month high, dipping 1 percent to 7,330 points as nine of its 10 largest stocks decline.

These include Al-Rajhi Bank, down 1.6 percent, and Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), down 0.7 percent.

Dubai's benchmark drops 4 percent to 1,621 points as most stocks tumble, with traders using declines on world markets as a trigger to cash in some of their 2012 gains.

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