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Middle East Stock Markets Fall Again

Stock markets across much of the Middle East dropped sharply Sunday, despite pledges from Asian and European leaders to take strong action to stem the global economic crisis.

Markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai lost more than four percent, the Egyptian stock exchange fell more than six percent, and Omar and Qatar lost more than eight percent.

In Kuwait, the Central Bank intervened to halt trading in one of the country's largest banks, after it incurred major losses in currency and stock trades.

On Saturday, Asian and European leaders called for a coordinated response to the worldwide financial crisis.

Wrapping up a two-day conference in Beijing, the leaders pledged to take effective and comprehensive actions to reform world monetary and financial systems. However no direct measures were announced.

During the meeting, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said officials must use every means to prevent the financial crisis from having an impact on the real economy. He called for stricter regulation of economic systems, saying lessons must be learned from the current crisis.

The premier said China will take an active part in the Group of 20 summit on the financial crisis that U.S. President George Bush will host in Washington on November 15.

The Bush administration has accepted the need for some regulation, but has differed with Europe and Asia over what actions need to take place.

Stock markets around the world suffered major losses last week. Key U.S. stock indexes closed down more than three percent Friday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, Bloomberg and Reuters.