Egyptian stocks strong opening prompts brief halt

Reuters, Sunday 27 Mar 2011

Sunday gains follow two days of losses and trigger half-hour freeze

Egypt's stock market is reversing two days of earlier declines, with the broader EGX100 index surging almost 5.1 per cent within minutes of the market's opening in a rally that forced a halt in trading.

The gains Sunday on the Egyptian Exchange followed two days of losses as the market resumed operations after an almost two-month halt because of the unrest that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Traders said the EGX100 surged 5.06 per cent in under five minutes, triggering a "circuit-breaker" that suspends trade for 30 minutes if the index moves more than 5 per cent.

Index heavyweights Orascom Telecom and Orascom Construction jumped 9 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. Shares in Commercial International Bank, Egypt's biggest listed lender, surged 8.2 per cent.

The benchmark EGX30 was up 2.65 per cent before trading was suspended. It had shed 3.7 per cent on Thursday and almost 9 per cent on Wednesday.

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