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Market Report: Egypt trades slow in shadow of Friday protests

The second trading day of the week sees further mild losses as global worries and the prospect of Friday clashes make investors cautious

Ahram Online, Tuesday 26 Jul 2011
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(Photo: Reuters)
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Egyptian stocks saw another bout of sluggish trade Tuesday as global debt pangs capped gains while the prospect of further unrest spooked domestic investors.

The EGX30 stock benchmark closed 0.36 per cent down at 5,086 points, sliding further after Monday’s 0.6 per cent dip.

"Traders are mainly Egyptian individuals and they’ve very anxious about this coming Friday and the potential for violence," says Wael El-Nahas, a stock market analyst.

Several political groups have called for mass protests on Friday, raising worries of clashes between factions. On Saturday, violent clashes between protesters and alleged thugs in the eastern Cairo district of Abbasiya left over 300 injured, in a stark reminder of the instability which overshadows Egyptian politics.

El-Nahas believes that the frequent turmoil is just one of the factors contributing to the Bourse’s struggle.

"The same problems that have plagued the market over the past month are still preventing it from taking off. The international debt crisis persists and the security situation in Egypt is still terrible,” he says.

From 183 listed stocks, 68 gained and 100 declined on Tuesday, with just four sectors finishing in the green -- banks, chemicals, construction and food and beverages -- which the broader EGX70 index also fielding a 0.28 per cent loss.

Basic resources led the dip, pushed downwards by a 4.56 per cent dip for Ezz Steel, part of the embattled conglomerate which saw trades in another wing, Ezz Dekhlia, frozen for a day when the company failed to provide the exchange with full financial statements.

“Ezz stock was reopened in the middle of the session, so it just followed the market trend downwards," says Nahas.

Delta Construction and Gharbia Islamic Housing Development were the day’s biggest gainers, up 8.15 and 8.63 per cent respectively.

Losses were milder with low-caps bearing the brunt; Suez Bags declined 7.01 per cent while the National Real Estate Bank for Development slipped 5.41 per cent. Mobile telecoms firm Mobinil lost 1.21 per cent in anticipation of financial reports for the second quarter due Tuesday evening.

Continuing the recent trend, individual investors were the market’s catalyst, responsible for 73 per cent of overall trade but net-selling LE11.95 million worth of stock.

Foreign investors, on the other hand, reversed their recent selling patterns. Making up an uncharacteristically low 19.5 per cent of midweek trade, they were the day’s only net-buyers to the tune of LE18.8m.

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