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Egypt stocks continue slide ahead of weekend protests

Benchmark index falls 0.13% as Egyptian investors worry over possible violence at Friday rallies called for by Armed Forces

Ahram Online, Thursday 25 Jul 2013
An opponent of ousted President Mohammed Morsi flashes the victory sign next to a burning scooter and posters of the former leader, that was set on fire at clashes near Tahrir Square on 22 July, 2013(Photo:AP)

Egyptian stocks continued to drop on Thursday, with the benchmark EGX30 index losing a further 0.13 percent to land at 5,352.6 points ahead of planned weekend demonstrations.

The index had reversed a winning streak on Wednesday, tumbling 1.7 percent after fears of continued instability were heightened after an explosive device went off at a police station near the security directorate in Mansoura, the capital of Daqahliya governorate in the Nile Delta, killing at least one conscript and injuring more than 25 late Tuesday.

But more significant worries were generated among foreign and domestic investors when Egyptian Armed Forces commander-in-chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called for nationwide rallies Friday to furnish the army and police with a popular mandate to crack down on "violence and terrorism."

Egyptian investors, who make up 83 percent of the market, were the only net sellers, for LE11.4 million, at a session which saw turnover of listed securities drop to LE314.9 million.

Many of the main index shares were in the red, with blue chip Commercial International Bank (Egypt) falling 1.12 percent and Orascom Telecom (OT) sliding 0.45 percent.

Among the total 57 gaining stocks in the market, however, were bellwether Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), up 0.29 percent, as well as property shares Six of October Development & Investment (SODIC) and TMG Holding, which rose 0.58 percent and 0.63 percent, respectively.

The broader EGX70 index, however, gained 0.5 percent.

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