The index closed at 4,815 points, losing 232 points or 4.6 per cent of its value. Trade on some stocks was suspended after they fell below the allowed range of five per cent.
The top performer of the day was Misr Duty Free Shops, whose stock rose by 1.76 per cent, followed by Cairo Pharmaceuticals with a 0.17 per cent increase and El Ahram Co for Printing and Packing with a 0.16 per cent increase.
The biggest loser was East Delta Flour Mills, whose stock plummeted 9.86 per cent, followed by Reacap Financial Investments which lost 9.16 per cent of its value and Egyptian Real Estate Group Bearer Shares taking a 9.08 per cent hit.
The silence of stock market analysts reflected a prevailing sense of pessimism. Youssef Al-Far CEO of Naeem Holding Co advised investors to hold their positions and not buy or sell in light of the uncertain political scene.
Not all analysts blamed Tuesday’s demonstrations for the market’s poor performance however. The chairman of Arab Finance Brokerage Osama Mourad looked to President Mohamed Morsy’s constitutional declration, saying it had “assassinated the state of law.” He also blamed the government’s reaction to the popular unrest. “The Cassation and appeal courts came to a standstill because of the declaration. Morsy and his advisers cannot know better than the Egyptian judges. We are heading for deadlock and civil disobedience,” he concluded.
According to Morad, no corrective movements should be expected in the stock exchange, unless a political breakthrough materialises. He also warned that the crisis could stall the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan that Egypt desperately needs. The market expert has been advising his customers to sell their assets since the constitutional declaration.
The downward movement of the index is a continuation of a trend that started last Sunday, according to Hisham Tawfik, chairman of Arabia Online Brokerage. The subsequent events in the following days were “non-events” market-wise. He said he would wait until Thursday before offering any market predictions.
Tawfik thanked the people who recently bought assets in the Egyptian stock market, but quipped that they might have been better off giving their money to charity.