CAIRO: Egyptian stocks succumbed to a global sell-off, sending the benchmark index to its sharpest fall in two weeks, despite a late-session rally by heavyweight Orascom Telecom (OT).
Worries over the finances of Spain, Portugal and Greece rattled global equities on Friday, when the Egyptian exchange was closed. The EGX 30 ended down 2.2 percent at 6,827 points.
“The market pulled back as soon as it opened, thanks to what happened in the US and Europe, said Hashem Ghoneim of Pyramids Capital.
Orascom Telecom ended up 0.6 percent.
Traders said Egyptian equities are likely to track global markets this week, but could start to move independently during financial reporting season later this month.
“We are really isolated from most of the problems that are going on in the United States and Europe, Ghoneim said. But “in the short run, of course, what happens abroad is going to happen here.
Developer Talaat Moustafa Group dropped 4 percent, the sharpest fall among Egypt’s big caps.
The stock gained against a widely negative market on Thursday on speculation a court would accept its former chairman’s request to appeal after he was sentenced to death for murder.
After trade closed, the court said it postponed the decision until March.
“Everybody was anticipating, on Thursday, the approval of the court, said Mohamed Helmy of HC Brokerage.
Orascom Construction, the biggest Egyptian firm by market capitalization, weighed on the index with a 1.6 percent fall.
Egypt’s index of secondary stocks gained 0.4 percent, with Cairo Oil and Soap jumping 7.9 percent and North Cairo Flour Mills, adding 5.7 percent. -Reuters