* Egyptian pound has lost 4.6 percent of value since Dec. 30
* C.Bank sells $60 mln at auction
CAIRO Jan 8 The Egyptian pound fell to a new
record low against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, extending its
decline to 4.6 percent since Dec. 30 when the central bank began
a new system of auctions to contain a currency crisis.
Hit by political turmoil, the pound weakened the maximum
amount allowed at Tuesday's central bank auction. The cut-off
price was 6.4492 pounds to the dollar -- a 0.5 percent fall from
Sunday when the cut-off price was 6.4185 pounds to the dollar.
The central bank sold $60 million in the interbank market at
the auction -- the same amount it had offered. The sale means
the central bank has sold $420 million of foreign currency since
introducing the system.
The weakening is in line with the central bank's interbank
trading band, which it narrowed last week to plus or minus 0.5
percent from the previous 1.0 percent.
The pound weakened on the interbank market to around
6.48 to the dollar, compared with about 6.185 before the foreign
currency auctions were introduced.
The Egyptian currency has lost more than a 10th of its value
since the uprising that swept Hosni Mubarak from power in
Tuesday's auction was the first since Sunday. Banks were
closed on Monday for a public holiday marking Coptic Christmas.
The central bank introduced the system of foreign currency
auctions after declaring that the country's foreign reserves
were at a critical level that economists say will cover a little
more than two months of imports.
The reserves stood at $15.015 billion in December - a $21
million decline from November, the central bank said on Sunday.
The drop was less than economists had expected.