Egyptian stocks tumbled on Wednesday as political uncertainty took its toll on investors, following massive anti-Morsi rallies on Tuesday.
The main EGX30 index lost 4.6 per cent to close at 4,815 points. Turnover remains weak at LE427 million. EGX30 has decreased its gains since the beginning of 2012 to 33 per cent.
"Today's trading brought back memories of 26 January last year, the session that followed the first mass protests against then-president Mubarak on 25 January," commented Ashraf Abdel Aziz, head of institutions sales at Arabeya Online Securities.
"There is the same ambiguous feeling about the future of Egypt," he added.
More than a hundred thousand people demonstrated on Tuesday to demand the annulment of the president's contentious decree, in what is considered to be the most serious challenge to face Morsi since he was elected in July.
Several political groups as well as judges, lawyers and journalists have expressed wide disapproval of the president's changes, which put his decisions beyond judicial review, although the presidency has insisted that the measures are temporary.
Mass protests are planned on Friday against the declaration to augment pressure on Morsi, with some calling the president to step down.
"While there were no clashes yesterday, the crisis has not been solved. And this is the real problem," Abdel Aziz added. "The presidency seems unwilling to back down on its decision and opposition is growing."
Major shares, including Commercial International Bank (CIB), Talaat Mostafa Group and EFG-Hermes dropped 5 per cent, 6.6 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively.
The market's largest company, Orascom Construction Industries, dropped a massive 6.8 per cent to close at LE231 per share. The company announced a drop of 31 per cent in its third quarter net profits.
Out of 172 shares traded today, 156 dropped value and only 7 gained.
The broader based EGX70 index also lost a sizeable 3.9 per cent to sit at 426 points.
Non-Arab foreign investors were the main net sellers in the session at LE23.7 million. Arab investors were net buyers at LE25 million while Egyptians net sold at a meager LE1.9 million.