Egypt continues to weigh on stocks but without Friday's panic selling (so far today)

01/31/2011 10:30 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

Egypt continues to take a toll on stocks. But while the declines are global, the biggest damage is restricted to stocks and markets with actual exposure to the turmoil in that country. Investors, I’d say as a quick summary, are still looking to sell risk but they’re not selling in anything like Friday’s panic.

Overnight and this morning indexes in  Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco—all exchanges with regional exposure—and in Thailand and South Korea—exchanges where the selling appears to be part of a global move away from risk—fell by 1% or more. Two stocks fell for every one that rose in Europe’s Stoxx 600 index. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.9%

The biggest losers, though, were companies with specific connections to Egypt. In London trading Orascom Construction, Egypt’s biggest publicly traded company, dropped another 1.3%. The stock is now down 27% in six days. Hikma Pharmaceuticals, which gets more than 60% of revenue from the Middle East and North Africa, declined 4.5%. Japan’s Nissan Motor fell 2.2% after closing a factory in Egypt.

Commodities continued to move up with the Standard & Poor’s Goldman Sachs Commodity Index climbing 0.2%, led by cotton, wheat, and corn. West Texas Intermediate oil futures rose 0.4% to $89.72 in New York.

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