February 20, 2014 / 11:07 AM / in 4 years

Egyptian pound inches up on official, steady on black market

CAIRO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - The Egyptian pound was up slightly at a central bank foreign currency sale on Thursday and traded within its recent range on the black market.

The central bank sold $39.6 million to banks with a cut-off price of 6.9511 pounds to the dollar, fractionally stronger than the cut-off price of 6.9512 from Wednesday’s auction. The bank had offered to sell $40 million.

On the black market, the dollar was traded for 7.30/33 pounds on Thursday, within a range between 7.30 and 7.35 over the past week. The dollar was trading at 7.33/7.35 pounds on Wednesday.

The pound has been under pressure during three years of political turmoil. Foreign currency reserves were around $17 billion in January, down from $36 billion before the uprising that led to president Hosni Mubarak’s downfall in 2011.

The central bank introduced dollar currency sales over a year ago. Last month, it held a $1.5 billion exceptional auction, its largest ever, to restock the market with dollars and curb unofficial currency trading. (Reporting by Maggie Fick; Editing by Alison Williams)

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