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Egyptian stocks fall on Abbasseya violence

The Egyptian Bourse resumed trading Monday after a long weekend holiday on the occasion of the 23 July, 1952, revolution.

Egyptian stocks fell in the week’s opener, affected by the Abbasseya incidents over the weekend.

All three key indices fell after tension escalated on Friday and Saturday, when protesters, angry at the slow change in Egypt since the January revolution, marched to the headquarters of the Defence Ministry in Abbasseya near downtown Cairo.

Hundreds were injured in clashes blamed on thugs, while Military Police said it exercised utmost self-restraint and were able to disperse the protesters by firing shots in the air, sending them back to the iconic Tahrir Square where they are still camped.

Trying to meet some of the protesters’ demands, Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf swore in his reshuffled Cabinet on Thursday before the head of the interim ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal, Hussein Tantawy.

The reshuffle witnessed an almost 50% shake-up, including a complete one in economic portfolios for the sake of meeting social justice calls.

Monday uncharacteristically saw net selling by Egyptian retail investors.

It also saw uncharacteristic buying by Institutions and Foreigners, who have been selling all the way for the past few months.

The main EGX30 index, measuring the performance of the heavyweight stocks, stayed well above the  psychologically important barrier of 5,000 points, after having broken it down two weeks ago.

EGX30, the preferred target of institutions and foreigners, finished at 5,104 points on Monday, after it came recently to within only 100 points above its lowest close of 2011.

The index is still more than 500 big points below the close of 27 January when trading was halted for nearly two months at the height of the revolution that overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak and his regime.

The main index, which lost 0.63% for the day,  has now lost almost 29% of its value in 2011.

The EGX70 of small and medium shares, the usual preferred target of Egyptian retail investors, was also a looser on Monday.

EGX70 lost 0.31% for the day, and stayed comfortably above the psychological barrier of 600 points, near the 639 mark, after having broken 600 down recently.

EGX70 is only 11% down for the year.

The small and medium share index, has outperformed the main index, the favorite of institutions and foreigners, since the resumption of trade in the Egyptian Bourse on March 23rd after a 55 day halt during the unrest incidents that ensued the peaceful 25 January revolution.

This is a testimony to Individual Egyptian investors net buying in a show of confidence and trust to what they perceive as their country’s post revolution bright future.

Finally the price weighted index, the EGX100, which is now down nearly 18% for the year,  finished down 0.61% on Monday.

EGX100 closed at  958 points, still 42 points shy of the key 1000 points psychological barrier.

Sixty-one shares finished up, 111 closed down, and 10 were unchanged on Monday.

Trading volume came as just under US$ 70 million.

Egyptian stock market authorities have confirmed that trading will not be halted again in the market for any reason and under no circumstances, after individual investors called for the move to stop big falls that coincided with the latest round of protests in the country

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