Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Egypt’s financial markets left no doubt about the significance of the daring street protests against the country’s president: stock prices tumbled on Wednesday, the currency weakened, and the cost of insuring against a government bond default rose.
The Egyptian authorities moved to stop events spiralling out of control by banning demonstrations and warning that participants would be detained. But a leading opposition member insisted that further protests were planned. The market reaction underlined profound uncertainty about where all this could lead.
Egypt’s benchmark stock index, the EGX30, closed down 6.1 per cent on Wednesday, its biggest one-day drop since November 2009. The cost of insuring against the country defaulting on bond interest payments rose by 9 basis points to its highest level since June 2009.