Middle Eastern response to Friday’s news

Responding for the 1st time to the news on Friday that Egypt’s Pres would step down immediately and not wait until the Sept elections, Commercial Int’l Bank Egypt, the biggest component of the Egyptian stock market, is up 5.6% in London trading but is just back to the level of one week ago. Orascom Construction, the 2nd biggest, is up 4.0% and is also back to its level of early last week. Other markets in the region were mixed as Jordan is down 1.4%, Saudi Arabia down .1%, Israel up .1% and Tunisia is down by 1%. Asian markets however were up solidly with China in particular rising to near a 2 month high after Jan export and import growth were both well above expectations. Japan’s Q4 GDP didn’t fall as much as expected but follows a downward revision in Q3. The Portuguese 10 yr yield is back to the highs and its spread to the Bund is at a one month high.

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