Aug. 18 -The Egyptian stock exchange and banks are feeling the impact of a violent week and trading restrictions during unrest. Lindsey Parietti reports.
Gunfire on the streets of Cairo Saturday, as widespread violence and unrest seize Egypt. Security forces cracked down on Muslim Brotherhood supporters and protesters over the weekend, killing hundreds. As the workweek began Sunday, the country's financial institutions felt the impact, with the stock market's main index falling 3.75 percent in early trading. Despite political instability, one analyst remained optimistic. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ANALYST, AMIR YUSUF, SAYING: "In general the performance of the stock market at the current state, is to an extent detached from the political situation and to a great extent it has been performing for the better. EGX30 had reached last week to 5,700 points, and this was a strong point for EGX30.'' The stock market has reduced trading hours to match bank restrictions under the month-long state of emergency declared by the military. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CAIRO RESIDENT MOHAMED ALI SAYING: ''The government wants to have the economy running normally for three hours,'' this local resident says. "Telling banks to open from 9 to 12 am is not realistic. Citizens today are not ordinary citizens, the people want their money." With the escalation in violence last week and more protests planned, the volatile climate is expected to continue.