April 5, 2015 / 9:01 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia falls on oil price worries after Iran nuclear deal

(Updates with Saudi, Egyptian markets opening)

DUBAI, April 5 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market fell in early trade on Sunday after Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers fuelled concern about a further decline in oil prices, which would hurt margins at Saudi petrochemical firms.

If confirmed in a final agreement by a June 30 deadline, the nuclear deal would ease sanctions and allow more Iranian oil onto the market, potentially pushing down crude prices. Brent oil plunged nearly 4.0 percent on Thursday in an initial reaction to the deal.

The main Saudi stock index fell 0.9 percent in the opening minutes with Saudi Basic Industries Corp, the biggest petrochemical producer, losing 1.5 percent and testing minor technical support on its March low of 79.25 riyals.

Among outperforming stocks were Saudi Public Transport Co , which was flat at 28.02 riyals in active trade after calling an annual general meeting for Monday to approve, among other things, a 7.5 percent dividend payment.

Egypt’s market dropped 1.4 percent as a three-week spate of heavy profit-taking continued. The non-oil private sector of the economy shrank in March for the third month in a row, though at a slower pace than last month’s contraction, a purchasing managers’ survey showed on Sunday.

Commercial International Bank sank 2.9 percent despite saying its board had asked management to decide whether to submit a binding offer for Citigroup’s retail portfolio in Egypt after a due diligence process. News in mid-March that CIB was interested in the assets was initially welcomed by investors. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia)

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