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Gulf share markets head lower

Regional tensions and anxiety over the recent drop in oil prices have pushed Gulf markets lower in recent weeks. Gulf Times reports:

"Gulf markets in general and the Saudi bourse in particular are negatively affected by the regional political situations, especially the Iranian nuclear stand-off and the fighting in Iraq," said Ali Dakkak, head of Dakkak Financial and Economic Consultants.

"They are also psychologically affected by the drop in oil prices. In the Saudi market, a huge amount of cash was withdrawn by major portfolios and some mutual funds," Dakkak said.

The seven stock markets in the six GCC states have shed some $600bn of their capitalisation since a severe correction began in September 2005 following some three years of strong rises.

For more on how the Middle Eastern share indexes have fared in the wake of last year's drop, see the Gulf Times article link above.

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