Mideast stocks: Egypt tumbles, follows global market rout; Saudi slips

Egypt's stock market fell more than 2 percent in early trade on Tuesday, following global shares lower, while Riyadh's index slipped as local traders cashed out of speculative shares.
Egypt's main index tumbled 2.1 percent. Palm Hills Development was down 3.0 percent and was the most heavily traded stock, after the real estate developer posted strong quarterly earnings early this week.
Commercial International Bank, an Egyptian share favored by international fund managers, retreated 3.7 percent.
Egypt's central bank has been striving to maintain stability in the currency over the past several months, but foreign investors are still jittery about the possibility of a devaluation and the negative impact it would have on their investment returns and companies' earnings.
Sources told Reuters that General Motors had temporarily suspended its operations in Cairo because of the hard currency shortage – a sign of how serious the country's economic slump remains.
In Riyadh, the index was down 0.2 percent as investors cashed out of small and mid-cap stocks, which had helped lift the index by 0.2 percent on Monday.
"It's a stock picker's market at this point," said a Jeddah-based stock broker. "Traders are buying speculative stocks to book a quick profit and either cash out or rotate into the blue chips."
Al Sagr Cooperative Insurance dropped 3.7 percent, after jumping 8.1 percent in the previous session. However, leading petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries was up 0.8 percent.

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