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Most stock markets in the Gulf fell sharply Tuesday after oil prices hit five-year lows, triggering a fresh wave of panic selling of shares by local retail investors, though most fund managers and analysts think the region can cope comfortably with cheaper oil.Dubai's market, traditionally the Gulf's most volatile, tumbled 3.5 percent to 3,889 points, though it closed well above its intraday low of 3,761 points. Oil's slide has been so sudden that retail investors are rushing to take profits on the gains which Dubai made earlier this year.Other stock markets in the region were not hit as hard as Dubai but still posted considerable losses Tuesday. Abu Dhabi's market fell 2.4 percent and Qatar lost 2.3 percent.Saudi Arabia's index fell 1.8 percent as heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries dropped 4.2 percent and most other stocks also declined.However, analysts believe Saudi corporate earnings outside the petrochemical sector will be little affected by cheaper oil, suggesting the stock market could snap back quickly if oil prices stop sliding.
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