(Adds trader comment, details)
CAIRO, April 9 The Egyptian pound
weakened at a central bank dollar auction and on the black
market on Wednesday, with some traders pointing to stock market
investors booking profits after a good run.
The central bank sold dollars at a cut-off price of 6.9652
pounds, leaving the pound weaker than at its last auction on
Monday when the rate was 6.9649 pounds.
The rates banks are allowed to trade dollars at is
determined by set ranges around the results of the regular
central bank dollar sales, giving the central bank effective
control over rates in the official market.
Banks sold the dollar for 6.9751 pounds on Wednesday. The
currency last Thursday had hit its weakest rate since September
The dollar on the black market was sold for 7.49 pounds on
Wednesday compared with 7.45 pounds on Monday, according to
market participants. One Cairo-based forex trader said the
dollar was sold at 7.52 pounds on Tuesday evening. Another
trader said the rate was 7.48 pounds.
"There's huge (dollar) demand (in the black market). Most
probably from corporates and Arab investors exiting the stock
exchange," one Cairo-based forex trader said.
Egypt's main index this week dropped to its lowest
close since Feb. 11. The benchmark has fallen around 14 percent
from March 26's five-year closing high.
The sell-off came after former army chief Abdel Fattah
al-Sisi said he would run for president; investors, most of whom
favour Sisi, had bid up the market ahead of the announcement and
took profits afterwards.
It had been trading in a loose range around 7.30-7.40 for
the last two months.
The central bank sold $38.3 million at its dollar sale on
Wednesday. It had offered $40 million.
Egypt's foreign currency reserves stood at $17.414 billion
in March. This compares with $17.307 billion in February and $36
billion before the uprising that led to the ouster President
Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Toby Chopra)