Foreign trade pushed Egypt's main stock benchmark further into the green Monday, as calm in overseas markets prompted a surge of interest in the country's industrial heavyweights.
The EGX30 edged 0.17 per cent to reach 5,428 points, its third consecutive day of gains following turbulence mid last week caused by political violence in Cairo.
"[The main index] was powered by gains for Orascom Construction, Telecom Egypt, Orascom Telecom and CIB. Foreigners and institutions bought into these stocks fuelling the increase in their prices," says Ashraf Abdel Aziz, head of institution sales at Arabia Online Securities, who thinks that newfound stability in overseas economies helped build confidence.
"The crisis in the Greek economy is ending and Asian, European and American markets are in the green and that was reflected in the Egyptian market," says Abdel Aziz. Foreigners made up 22 per cent of trade and were net-buyers of LE23.26 worth of stock.
Overall figures painted a mixed picture; from 185 listed shares, 132 lost value while only 39 gained. Total market turnover was LE339 million, substantially lower the post-revolution average of LE400 million to LE500m.
Analysts said that though the heaviest trading centred on high-cap firms, the actual sums involved were relatively small, especially for the Commercial International Bank (CIB) -- one of the exchange's most active shares, often accounting for more than a quarter of the day's trading value.
The day's largest gainers were smaller firms like Delta Construction, up 4.64 per cent, and Tourism Urbanization, up 3.93 per cent.
The benchmark's slight gains came in contrast to that of the broader EGX70, which shed 1.42 per cent, mostly driven by Egyptians net-selling of lower-cap stocks worth LE21.13 million.
Most sectors, with the exceptions of construction, chemicals and telecoms, finished in the red. Tourism and leisure was the biggest loser, down 1.86 per cent, weakened by losses of 6.63 per cent for Misr Hotels and Sharm Dreams, down 6.16 per cent.
"Tourism outlook is very uncertain these in the current period, you can see this clearly in statements made by tourism officials," says Abdel Aziz, referring to clashes between security forces and protestors that erupted last week.
Protestors have returned to Tahrir square and started another sit-in. The occasional violent confrontation has become a commonplace in Egyptian newscasts.