Investors watch protests in Egypt

Egyptians pray for victims killed during protests as they gather at Tahrir Square in Cairo.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

JEREMY HOBSON: The anti-government demonstrations continue in Egypt this morning and the turmoil is affecting economies across the globe.

For more, let's bring in Jennifer Hughes. She's Senior Markets Correspondent for the Financial Times and she's with us from London. Good morning.

JENNIFER HUGHES: Good morning.

HOBSON: Now we've heard that Egypt is not a major supplier of oil. The GDP there is actually smaller than the GDP in the State of Connecticut. Why are investors around the world so concerned about what's going on in Egypt.

HUGHES: OK, you're right it's definitely not about the amount they have in their portfolios as directly related Egypt. But it's about the bigger political significance. I mean this is a massive U.S. ally, massive ally of Israel. So if we have unrest there, it could spread. And you know, with markets it's all about what they don't know and what they fear.

HOBSON: This is about uncertainty. What are they concerned about? Is there anything that we know that investors think might happen going forward?

HUGHES: Well, if you think about the markets and how we've had a lot of what you might call worst case scenarios actually coming true in the last few years, investors are pretty cautious these days. We're looking at the Suez Canal, and what happens if shipping there is disrupted. They're looking at if unrest spreads to other countries in the Middle East and what happens perhaps to oil supplies if that happens. There's construction companies have a lot of work out there. You name it, investors can find a reason to worry about it right now.

HOBSON: Jennifer Hughes, Senior Markets Correspondent for the Financial Times. Thanks so much for your time this morning.

HUGHES: Thank you.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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