Egyptian stocks bounced back into the green on Tuesday as investors eyed a fragile peace in Cairo's streets and the country's military rulers brought forward presidential vote nominations to 10 March.
The benchmark EGX30 finished up 1 per cent at 4,583.9 points, rolling back the losses it incurred 24-hours earlier during the Bourse's first day of trade after a three-day weekend.
"The market is in a cautious state of mind, the gains we saw last week are not going to be continuous," says Walaa Hazem, vice president for asset management at HC Securities & Investment.
Protesters accuse the generals who took power from Hosni Mubarak a year ago of mismanaging the country and are demanding a swift end to military rule. Thirteen people have died in the latest wave of street violence.
From the 175 stocks traded on Tuesday, 144 gained in value and 22 declined. Market turnover was a solid LE411.3 million ($68.2 million), significantly higher than the day before.
The broader EGX70 surged 2.09 per cent, fuelled by the activity of Egyptian individual investors targetting smaller stocks.
The day's biggest gainer was investment bank Beltone Financial, up 9.9 per cent.
Most traded was Orascom Telecom Media and Technology, which surged 7.8 per cent after founder Naguib Sawiris detailed new expansion plans in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in a Reuters interview on Monday.
OTMT subsidiary and mobile operator Mobinil rose 7.1 per cent, while the country's largest listed firm, Orascom Construction Industries, edged a more modest 1.5 per cent.
Investment bank EFG-Hermes shook off news that its chief executive Yasser El-Mallawany has been banned from travelling by Egyptian authorities, finishing the day up a marginal 0.09 per cent.
Troubled real estate developer, the Talaat Moustafa Group, however, was dragged down following news its an Egyptian appeal court upheld a 15-year prison sentence for its ex-chairman Hesham Talaat Moustafa for his role in the murder of a Lebanese singer. Shares in the firm fell 2.26 per cent.
"This is just a sentiment -- the judgement will have no effect on the company itself," said Hazem.
Foreigners were major net-sellers, offloading a total of LE97.2 million in shares, and contributing to the 1.95 per cent fall in value for shares in the Commercial International Bank.
"It's not clear whether this will be a trend or not. They were extremely bullish in January so it's possible they are now making profits," said Hazem.
"Investors are waiting for resolutions to the ongoing protests and the transfer of power. By month's end we will see if there will be stability or yet more violence."