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MIDEAST STOCKS-Equity markets plunge after OPEC deal collapses

By Maqsood Alam

* Saudi index closes lowest since Nov 2017 * 191 of 198 stocks in Saudi index decline * Saudi Aramco trades below IPO price for the first time * 28 of 30 Egyptian blue-chips fall By Maqsood Alam March 8 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Middle East fell sharply on Sunday, with Saudi Arabia's index hitting a more than three-year low, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) pact with Russia to curb oil output fell apart on Friday. A three-year pact between OPEC and Russia ended in acrimony after Moscow refused to support deeper oil cuts to cope with the outbreak of coronavirus and OPEC responded by removing all limits on its own production. The collapse of the deal sent Brent futures tumbling 9.4%, the biggest daily percentage fall since December 2008, to settle at $45.27 a barrel. Saudi Arabia's index closed down 8.32% at its lowest since November 2017, with most of its constituents trading in the red. State-owned Saudi Aramco tumbled 9.1%, its sharpest percentage fall in a day, to 30 riyals ($8.00). The stock traded below its initial public offering price of 32 riyals for the first time. "Aramco is under pressure because of the failure of the deal," said Marie Salem, head of institutions at Daman Securities. Al Rajhi Bank and the country's largest lender National Commercial Bank fell 7.1% and 10% respectively. Saudi Arabia, which slashed its official selling price (OSP) for crude for April, plans to raise its oil production above 10 million barrels per day next month, sources told Reuters. Kuwait's index dived 10%, its second biggest ever single day loss. Financial shares weighed on the index the most, with National Bank of Kuwait sliding 9.3%. The Dubai index dropped 7.9%, its sharpest intra-day fall since October 2008. Emirates NBD Bank fell 9.6%, and Dubai Islamic Bank lost 7.7%. Abu Dhabi's index closed down 5.4%, its biggest intra-day percentage loss in more than five years. Market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank plunged 6.7%. The Qatari index shed 2.9% as the Gulf's largest lender, Qatar National Bank, and Industries Qatar decreased 4.7% and 3.6% respectively. Egypt's blue-chip index was down 4%, with most of its constituents closing in the red. Market heavyweight Commercial International Bank Egypt fell 4.7%. SAUDI ARABIA plunged 8.3% to 6,846 points ABU DHABI fell 5.4% to 4,394 points DUBAI lost 7.9% to 2,267 points QATAR was down 2.9% to 9,037 points EGYPT dropped 4% to 11,849 points BAHRAIN slipped 3.4% to 1,563 points OMAN fell 2.8% to 3,995 points KUWAIT dived 10% to 5,750 points ($1 = 3.7520 riyals) (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editng by Mark Potter)