News / Economy

Egypt Share Index Slips Lower Before Army Deadline

Traders work at Egypt's Stock Exchange in Cairo, July 3, 2013. Traders work at Egypt's Stock Exchange in Cairo, July 3, 2013.
x
Traders work at Egypt's Stock Exchange in Cairo, July 3, 2013.
Traders work at Egypt's Stock Exchange in Cairo, July 3, 2013.
Reuters
Egyptian shares closed lower on Wednesday as investors fretted over the possibility of further violence in the country, hours before an army deadline to Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to yield to mass protests and share power.

At least 16 people were killed on Wednesday and 200 wounded when gunmen opened fire on supporters of Morsi who were rallying outside Cairo University, state television reported.

Egypt's army commander and Morsi each pledged to die for his cause as the deadline neared.

The central bank ordered banks to close their doors early ahead of the army deadline, due to expire at around 5:00 p.m. [1500 GMT], and busses in Cairo's financial center downtown were whisking bank employees home.

The country's main share index closed 0.3 percent lower.

“When you have blood at Cairo University it is bad news,” said Hisham Metwalli, a trader at Arab Finance Brokerage. “But people hope it will all be over this evening.”

The index had soared 4.9 percent to a three-week high on Tuesday after the armed forces gave the ultimatum.

The prospect of military intervention raised investor hopes that an end was in sight to turmoil that has frightened away investors and tourists and drained the country's finances since Hosni Mubarak was ousted from the presidency in early 2011.

But brokers said that uncertainty and fears of violence were now pushing prices back down.

“Egypt is in crisis. No one can tell what will happen,” said Omar Ascar at Cairo Financial Investment.

Egypt's currency strengthened on the black market, with one dealer in central Cairo offering to sell dollars at 7.55 pounds and buy them at 7.50 pounds, compared to 7.65 and 7.60 on Tuesday.

In the fixed-income market, the cost of insuring Egyptian debt against default was steady on Wednesday at 875 after having surged to record highs of above 900 on Monday, Markit said.

Foreigners were net buyers of shares, but some investors felt it was early to plunge back into the Egyptian market before the political situation was settled.

“We have been very underweight in Egypt for a long time,” said Alex Trotter, Africa fund manager at Fulcrum Capital in London. “When you do not know what's going on, it's best to be more cowardly.”

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8815
JPY
USD
117.85
GBP
USD
0.6581
CAD
USD
1.2420
INR
USD
61.404

Rates may not be current.