Egypt's stock market plummets after Morsi's decree

Egypt's main share index falls 9.5 percent in 1st trading day after president takes new powers

Associated Press
Egypt's stock market tumbles after Morsi's decree
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In this Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, President Mohammed Morsi speaks to supporters outside the Presidential palace in Cairo. Egypt's official news agency says that the country's highest body of judges has called the president's recent decrees an "unprecedented assault on the independence of the judiciary and its rulings." In a statement carried on MENA Saturday, the Supreme Judicial Council says they regret the declarations President Mohammed Morsi issued Thursday. (AP Photo/Egyptian Presidency)

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's benchmark stock index has plunged 9.5 percent halfway through the first trading session since the country's Islamist president issued decrees to assume near absolute powers.

Sunday's losses on the Egyptian Exchange's EGX30 index are among the biggest since the turbulent days and weeks after the ouster of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak last year.

The fall follows the announcement Thursday by President Mohammed Morsi of a package of decrees that place him above any oversight, including judicial, and extend the same protection to two Islamist-dominated bodies: a panel drafting a new constitution and parliament's upper chamber.

Morsi says his measures are designed to "protect the revolution," but they triggered an uproar among non-Islamist political groups now vowing to press on with street protests to force him to back down.

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