After 18 perilous days of a popular uprising that has been said to have taken a toll of 300 deaths, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down from the presidency, a post he held for approximately 30 years. As jubilant crowds erupted into joy, reports that two military helicopters leaving the presidential palace lead to the assumption that Mubarak is now in the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh on the Red Seam where he owns a palace.
Less than 24 hours after Mubarak went on state television to pledge he would “die and be buried” in Egypt, his deputy, Vice President Omar Suleiman gave a quick speech where he announced that Mubarak had decided to step down due to the “difficult circumstances” the country is going through, and that he has “charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs” of Egypt.
Markets and people celebrated Mubarak’s resignation, with the Market Vectors Egypt ETF, one of the only markets in Egyptian equities as the stock exchanges have been shut down, spiked 5.5% in a matter of 15 minutes by 11:15 AM in New York, approximately when the announcement was made. Brent Crude, the international benchmark, dropped 3 cents or 0.03% to $101.56, continuing the decline it began to trace after Mubarak’s first statement on Thursday February 10.
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