CAIRO: Egypt’s benchmark index slipped 1.7 percent, ending four days of gains, as mounting doubts over the pace of the global economic recovery hit stocks worldwide and oil prices weigh.
Index heavyweight Orascom Telecom led the decline, slipping 5.9 percent.
Traders said investors had expected news on Orascom’s talks to sell some of its assets to South Africa’s MTN in the wake of Orascom Chairman Naguib Sawiris’s remarks published on Sunday that the outcome of talks should be clear within a week.
"I think a lot of people were expecting to hear something, some news, after Naguib said the deal should be concluded this week," Teymour El-Derini of Naeem Brokerage said.
Dropping oil prices and weak global stock market performances are likely to further dampen sentiment in the coming days, traders said.
Oil fell 3 percent to around $72 per barrel on Tuesday, erasing early gains after Chinese and European industry data raised concerns over the pace of global economic growth.
Blue chip Orascom Construction dipped 3.1 percent, its biggest single-day decline in a week.
"The leading stocks which held the market up in the past days are the ones dragging it today," said Osama Mourad of Arab Finance Brokerage.
Egypt’s biggest investment bank EFG-Hermes shed 3.4 percent, also its biggest single-day drop since May 25.
Banking stocks have weakened worldwide after the European Central Bank said euro zone banks face another €195 billion ($239 billion) in potential writedowns to the end of 2011 in a second round of losses from the financial crisis.
Trading in Egypt’s bourse is seen subdued in the coming days tracking global markets and a drop in the euro, traders said.
"A decline of the euro poses a real challenge to the Egyptian economy and its exports business … as well as the tourism industry," Mourad said.
The EGX30 closed at 6,438 points.