Egypt Independent

Stock exchange closes down US$1.6 billion

The Egyptian stock exchange

fell sharply at the close of trading Sunday, losing about LE10 billion (US$1.6 billion), the largest drop in two and a half months.

Experts attributed the decline to the Israeli air offensive in the Gaza Strip and fears of Egyptian involvement in that crisis, as well as the withdrawal of Christians and the remaining secular political forces from the Constituent Assembly.

The EGX 30 index, which measures the performance of Egypt’s 30 largest companies, fell by 3.2 percent, losing 184 points to close at 5,490.

The stock market management suspended trades on 43 shares for a half hour when they fell more than the allowed 5 percent.

The capital market lost LE10 billion, falling to LE377.7 billion from Wednesday’s LE387.7 billion closing and reaching its lowest level since September.