Egypt stocks opened the trading week down on Sunday, seemingly affected by domestic political uncertainties and an apparent security vacuum in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
The benchmark EGX30 index plunged 2 per cent to 5,457 points, one day after three policemen were killed and another three injured by unknown assailants in the city of Al-Arish in the restive peninsula's northeast.
Capital markets expert Mostafa Badra told Ahram Online that, along with the Sinai incident, stocks also suffered from news that the nation's retailers might be legally obliged to close the doors of their shops at 10:00pm, according to proposed legislation.
The broader-based EGX70 index, meanwhile, fell by 3.4 per cent for the day in a session that saw a mere LE378.3 million in daily turnover.
A handful of positive developments – including statements by the finance ministry that Egypt might obtain a proposed $4.8 billion IMF loan by the end of the current year – were not enough to shore up the market on Sunday.
Most blue-chip shares slumped for the day, led by Commercial International Bank and Orascom Construction Industries, which fell by 0.4 and 2.3 per cent respectively.
Orascom Telecom and Ezz Steel, meanwhile, lost 4 and 7.3 per cent for the day respectively.
Earlier this week, Orascom Telecom said it was considering the sale of its assets in Burundi, Zimbabwe and the Central African Republic.
Investment house EFG-Hermes, for its part, declined by 2 per cent in Sunday trading, despite its anticipated expansion into Turkey, Iraq and Libya following the finalisation of its joint-venture project with Qatar's QInvest.
Property stocks Talaat Mostafa Group, Palm Hills and SODIC also all tumbled by 3, 5.2 and 5.4 per cent respectively.
Arab investors were the day's only net buyers at LE24.4 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors sold off some LE23.2 million and LE1.2 million in stocks respectively.