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Egyptian stocks slide on Tahrir incidents, key football match to go on

Egyptian stocks suffered a sharp fall on Wednesday, the penultimate day of the trading week, PANA reported from here.

All three major indices fell more than 2%, following the renewed tension in Tahrir Square, downtown Cairo, after protesters, objecting to the slow trials of main Police figures of the ousted regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, clashed with security forces.

Egyptian stocks are now down in six of the last eight sessions .

Breaking a trend that seemed to have no end in sight, institutions finally returned to buying on Wednesday, while  individual Egyptian investors were net sellers for the first time in weeks.

Foreigners continued to be net sellers.

The main EGX30 index of heavyweight stocks closed 2.03% lower on Wednesday, with prices near session lows.

EGX30 now stands at 5,283 points, nearly 350 points below the close of business on 27 January when trading was halted for nearly two months at the height of protests that overthrew Mubarak and his regime.

The main index has now lost almost 26% in 2011.

The EGX70 of small and medium shares, the usually preferred target of Egyptian retail investors, fell even further, with shares losing 2.61% of their value on Wednesday.

EGX70 currently stands at 627 points and is now almost 13% 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 23 March after a 55-day halt during the unrest which followed the peaceful 25 January revolution.

This is a testimony to Individual Egyptian investors continuous buying in a show of confidence and trust to what they perceive as their country’s post-revolution bright future, although that confidence was shaken on Wednesday following the latest Tahrir incidents.

Finally the price weighted index, the EGX100, which is down nearly 17% for the year, lost no less than 2.42% on Wednesday.

EGX100 closed at 967 points, slipping further back from the key psychological barrier of 1,000 points.

Total dealings om Wednesday reached almost US$ 170 million.

In a dismal day for stocks, only six lucky shares rose, 174 fell, and six finished unchanged.

Egyptian stock market authorities have affirmed they will lift extra-ordinary measures imposed on trading after the 25 January revolution by 1 July.

In the meantime, the interior ministry, reversing an early morning decision, agreed with Egyptian Football authorities that the key match featuring the country’s two most popular clubs, Ahly and Zamalek, should go ahead.

The move is interpreted as a show of trust by Police in their improved capabilities and also a vote of confidence in the awareness of Egyptian Football fans, despite the fact some big matches recently witnessed several violent scenes.

Calm is gradually returning to Tahrir Square and its surroundings Wednesday afternoon


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