Saudi bourse plunges 6.43% on Egypt tensions

The Saudi stock market, the largest Arab bourse, plunged 6.43 percent to 6,267.22 points on Saturday as tensions soared in Egypt, where deadly anti-government protests continued for a fifth day.

The market has been gripped by severe anxiety because of the events in Egypt, traders told AFP, expressing fears that other Gulf markets, due to open on Sunday, will be similarly affected.

The Saudi Tadawul Index lost 430.58 points to close at 6,267.22 points. Turnover was ê1.68 billion.

Shares in the leading petrochemical sector fell 8.37 percent, while the banking and financial sector was down by four percent. The real estate sector fell by 6.64 percent.

Insurances fell by 9.12 percent, telecoms by 6.7 percent, investment companies by 8.62 percent and building and constructions 7.8 percent.

The drop affected the shares of all the 145 companies trading on Saturday, according to the stock market website.

The Saudi bourse has a market value of about ê350 billion.

The remaining six Gulf markets -- Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait, Doha, Muscat and Manama -- will begin their new trading week on Sunday.

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