Egypt's stocks closed slightly up on Thursday despite dipping earlier in the session following the release of a survey showing the sharpest contraction of business activity in 31 months.
Benchmark index EGX30 edged up 0.25 percent to 7,478 points on Thursday, and daily stock turnover was almost half the average for the weeks following the central bank depreciation of the pound that attracted investors back to the market.
Daily stock turnover registered at EGP 582 million.
The Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers' Index, an indicator based on a survey of business conditions in the Egyptian non-oil private sector, fell to 44.5 in March, down from 48.1 in February. This represents the sixth consecutive month of readings below 50, which indicate a contraction.
Egyptian investors were net sellers to the tune of EGP 11 million, while Arab and other foreign investors were net buyers.
Blue chip Commercial International Bank (CIB) rose 0.53 percent to EGP 39.9 a share, while Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) holding, the most traded stock in the session, fell 1.3 percent to EGP 0.77 per share.