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UPDATE 1-Egypt's main stock index falls 3.7% in early trading

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CAIRO, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Egypt’s main stock index lost more than 3% in early trading on Sunday and trading was suspended in at least 35 shares for 10 minutes after they fell by over 5%, bourse data showed.

At 0944 GMT, the main index was down 3.72%. Orascom Investment fell by 9.89%, Ezz Steel sank by 9.91% and Pioneers dropped 9.31%.

Orascom Construction fell by 6.16% and Palm Hills lost 8.26%.

“The sell-off until now has been mainly led by foreigners … in our view, drawing conclusions on what was reported about the minor protests that took place on Friday,” said Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage.

Egyptian investor sentiment appeared stable, and stocks would likely recover on Monday as global markets opened, he said.

On Friday, small but rare protests broke out in Egypt. Witnesses said hundreds demonstrated in central Cairo and several other Egyptian cities against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, responding to an online call for protests against government corruption, witnesses said.

Small protests also took place in the city of Suez late on Saturday, witnesses said. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk and Nadine Awadalla, writing by Lena Masri Editing by Aidan Lewis, Raissa Kasolowsky and Dale Hudson)

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