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CAIRO — Egypt's currency, the pound, weakened to its lowest against the US dollar in more than seven years on Sunday as the country waited to see if a former military officer or a member of the Muslim Brotherhood would be its next president.
The pound was bid at as low as 6.055 to the dollar, its weakest since 30 December 2004.
"It is definitely because of the uncertainty surrounding the election results," a currency dealer at a Cairo-based bank said. "There is heavy selling to local customers. I think there is a lot of panic among local customers."
The election committee later announced that the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsy won the race. Former president Hosni Mubarak spent three decades fighting the group, which is distrusted by many Egyptians.
A win by his rival, former air force commander Ahmed Shafiq, could have provoked an angry backlash on the streets, despite his assurances that he also wants an inclusive government.
The cost of insuring Egypt's debt against default also jumped to its highest in 3-1/2 years last week after allegations of fraud delayed the result of the presidential election.
The dissolution earlier this month of the parliament elected after last year's overthrow of veteran president Mubarak has also alarmed investors, who fear Egypt will hurtle towards a balance of payments crisis and a currency collapse.