Turmoil in Mideast Markets

The sell-off spreads to Egypt and the Gulf, where speculation is said to have been rampant. The oil economies' strength should avert a crisis

On May 23, Cairo was front and center in the stock market meltdown sweeping emerging economies. The Cairo and Alexandria stock exchange index fell by about 7%, following a 6%-plus drop the previous day. "It is a weak market with no buyers," says Sherif Cararah, managing director for securities at Cairo-based EFG-Hermes, which handles about 40% of the trading volume on the Egyptian market. "An unstoppable selling mood" has taken hold, he says.

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