Egypt's Army Ruler to Give Statement
Angry Egyptians took to the streets again on Tuesday, clashing with police as they demand an end to military rule in the country. Shares fell sharply as the violence escalated, prompting the Egyptian Bourse to suspend trading for one hour.
The head of Egypt's ruling army council, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, will deliver a statement to the nation later on Tuesday, state television reported according to Reuters.
In a brief headline, state television initially said the statement would be issued shortly but then simply said it would be issued on Tuesday.
Morgue officials say at least 33 people have been killed since the clashes erupted.
Ambulances could still be seen moving from and to the area of Cairo’s Tahrir Square, as the number of those injured climbed above 1,000.
The air was heavy with tear gas and gun fire could still be heard from nearby Mohamed Mahmoud Street.
In the square itself, several tens of thousands chanted slogans demanding that the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, step down and transfer power to a civilian authority.
Demonstrators are now planning to pile the pressure with a million-man march on Tuesday.
The Egyptian Interim Cabinet under Prime Minister Essam Sharaf submitted its resignation in light of the recent developments.
There have been conflicting reports as to whether the SCAF, de-facto ruling the country since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February, rejected the request or was actively seeking a new prime minister.
In a statement through the official MENA news agency, the council shared its “deep regret for the victims in these painful incidents”.
Authorities have however insisted that the latest violence would not derail the start of parliamentary elections on November 28.
Egypt’s stock market, one of the few with MSCI Emerging Market status in the region, continued to reflect the pervasive political uncertainty.
The benchmark EGX30 slid another four percent in Monday trade to its lowest close since March 17, 2009.
The Market Vectors Egypt ETF in the US, which had already lost some ground last week in anticipation of possible unrest during the elections, closed 6.5 percent lower.
The Egyptian Pound remained in focus, with growing concerns the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) would struggle to defend the local currency as its foreign reserves shrink.
The latest data showed a drop of $1.93 billion last month, marking a renewed acceleration.
Analysts have told CNBC that the CBE may now be forced to give way to a gradual depreciation after maintaining a range between 5.93 and 5.99 against the US Dollar since February.
On the international front, White House Spokesman Jay Carney said that the United States were deeply concerned about the violence and called for restraint.
Egypt is one of the largest recipients of US aid, to the tune of $1.3 billion a year.
"The United States continues to believe that these tragic events should not stand in the way of elections and a continued transition to democracy that is timely, peaceful, just and inclusive,” Carney said.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also called on authorities to “guarantee the protection of human rights and civil liberties for all Egyptians, including the right to peaceful protest”.