20/09/2018 08:01 AST

Egyptian stocks tumbled to their lowest level this year on Wednesday as retail investors took flight. A sharp rise in Suez Canal revenues, a major foreign exchange earner for the country, was not enough to quell investors concerns about the strength of the currency.

The main Egyptian stock index lost 3.8 percent which some fund managers blamed on generally negative sentiment toward emerging markets worldwide as well as more local speculation about possible currency devaluation.

“Our channel checks suggest the sell-off in the Egyptian market is local retail and institutions driven, on currency fears and speculation over a further round of devaluation,” said Vrajesh Bhandari, portfolio manager at Al Mal in Dubai, Reuters reported.

“Selling is further intensified as margin calls are triggered and technical support levels break down. The country canceled three consecutive Treasury auctions, citing investors’ unrealistic yield demands.”

Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues rose to $502.2 million in August up 6.7 percent from a year earlier according to official data released on Wednesday. Elsewhere regional stock markets closed mostly lower with the exceptions of Abu Dhabi which edged 0.2 percent higher and Saudi Arabia, the best regional performer, which rose by 1.1 percent.

Saudi stocks are benefiting from the strong oil price which eased slightly yesterday but still hovered just under $79. OPEC and some other oil producers including Russia will meet in Algeria on Sept. 23 to discuss how to allocate supply increases within their quota framework to offset the loss of oil exports from Iran following the introduction of sanctions by the US.

Those measures will come into force on Nov. 4 and data suggests that buyers are already retreating from Iranian crude purchases.

A key question for the oil price as well as regional stock markets in the weeks ahead will be the extent to which other Gulf oil exporters can compenaste for the loss of Iranian supplies by pumping more.


Arab News

Ticker Price Volume
QNBK 182.00 390,872
APPC 47.55 60,143
SAICO 10.84 194,413
SISCO 12.40 344,656
STC 81.00 257,144
KAYAN 15.66 4,143,954
NCB 43.75 567,049
Index Closing Change
NIKKEI 225 22,841.12 291.88 (1.29%)
DAX 11,715.03 -61.52 (-0.52%)
S&P 500 2,809.21 -0.71 (-0.02%)
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