January 26, 2011 / 8:49 AM / 8 years ago

Egypt pound falls to 6-year low after protests

U.S. dollar notes are piled up after counting at a bank in Seoul October 22, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s pound fell on Wednesday to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar since January 2005 after the biggest anti-government protests of President Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade rule.

The pound fell as low as 5.830 against the U.S. currency after closing at 5.816 on Monday before the protests in Cairo and several other cities across the country.

“At the opening there was exaggerated buying of the dollar based on yesterday’s protest,” said a Cairo-based trader who asked not to be named. “But that’s only in the beginning. I think people now are calmer.”

Cairo’s streets returned to normal on Wednesday after unprecedented demonstrations demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule, as protest leaders asked followers to regroup for a second day of action.

The benchmark Egyptian stock index saw its biggest drop since last May.

“The Egyptian pound is at the mercy of the news for now and it’s only chance to strengthen is if the euro continues to stay at a high level,” said another Cairo trader.

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