Saudi, Egyptian stocks fall moderately

The drops were much more moderate than losses in the previous session

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Saudi Arabian and Egyptian stocks fell in early trade on Monday but the drops were much more moderate than losses in the previous session, suggesting investors were starting to bargain-hunt on dips.

The main Saudi index slipped 0.6 percent in the opening minutes, after tumbling 6.9 percent on Sunday. Some beaten-down blue chips such as miner Ma'aden rose; Ma'aden gained 1.8 percent.

However petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries, its earnings directly sensitive to falling oil prices, lost a further 1.8 percent.

Egypt's stock index, which had slid 5.4 percent on Sunday, was down 0.9 percent on Monday morning. All of the 10 most heavily-traded stocks were lower.

Dubai's main stock index rebounded into positive territory in the late morning on Monday after earlier plunging in response to the slide in global equity markets.

The main Dubai index was up 1.1 percent at 3,488 points, after earlier been down as much as 6.1 percent to 3,241 points, just above major technical support on its March low of 3,233 points. On Sunday, the index had dropped 7.0 percent.

Real estate shares led the recovery with leading developer Emaar Properties gaining 1.8 percent and DAMAC Properties rising 3.3 percent.

Most other Gulf markets also turned positive after early falls, with Abu Dhabi climbing 0.7 percent and Qatar edging up 0.1 percent.