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Saudi shares dive 6.8% on Mideast unrest fears

RIYADH, March 1, 2011 – Saudi shares dived 6.8 percent at close on Tuesday amid panic sell-off by investors concerned over unrest that has hit several Arab countries, traders said.

The Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) shed about 403 points to close at 5,538.72 points with all the 145 listed companies ending the day in the red. At one stage the index had dipped more than eight percent.

Tuesday\’s drop is the largest single-day loss since November 2008 when the Saudi market, the largest in the Arab world, was reeling under the impact of the global financial crisis.

The Saudi bourse has dropped for the 12th consecutive session on fears of unrest and on Sunday lost five percent.

Since the start of the year, TASI shed more than 16.3 percent and most of the losses were incurred after the Tunisian and Egyptian popular uprisings.

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