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Finance & Banking | Global Arab Network
Egypt stocks plunge after Mursi power grab
Global Arab Network - - Maha Karim
http://www.english.globalarabnetwork.com/images/stories/2011/Feb/Egyptian_Stock_Exchange_index.jpg
Egypt's stock market plunged in its first day open since Islamist President Mohamed Mursi seizure of new powers set off street violence and a political crisis, unravelling efforts to restore stability after last year's revolution.

More than 500 people have been injured in protests since Friday, when Egyptians awoke to news Mursi had issued a decree temporarily widening his powers and shielding his decisions from judicial review.

Mursi and the judiciary hinted at compromise to avert a full-scale political crisis.

The Supreme Judicial Council said Mursi's decree should apply only to "sovereign matters". Although it did not specify what that meant, its statement, read on television, suggested it did not reject his decree outright. It called on judges and prosecutors who have called for a strike to return to work.

Mursi's office repeated assurances that the measures would be temporary, and said he wanted dialogue with political groups.

"This declaration is deemed necessary in order to hold accountable those responsible for corruption as well as other crimes during the previous regime and the transitional period," the presidency said in a statement.

Justice minister Ahmed Mekky, who has said he has some reservations over Mursi's decree, launched an effort to mediate between Mursi and judges.

Sunday's stock market fall of nearly 10 percent - halted only by automatic curbs - was the worst since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February, 2011.

Images of protesters clashing with riot police and tear gas wafting through Cairo's Tahrir Square were an unsettling reminder of that uprising. Activists were camped in the square for a third day, blocking traffic with makeshift barricades. Nearby, riot police and protesters clashed intermittently.

Mursi's supporters and opponents plan big demonstrations on Tuesday that could be a trigger for more street violence.

Read More at (Reuters)
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