In the second session of the new year, Egypt’s bourse shifted into the red after two days of gains. The border index EGX30 lost 0.66 per cent at 3,655 points.
"We cannot really judge the performance of the market from its movement these days because the turnover is very low. Even market forecasts are not properly made due to the unprecedented low volumes," said Mostafa Badra, capital market expert.
Turnover, which had plummeted below the LE100 million level following Christmas Day on 25 December, managed to exceed this level, but remained low at around LE107.5 million.
"Egypt is still in the holiday season, with Orthodox Christmas coming up on 7 January; we'll have to wait past this week to see real action in the market," Badra added, partially attributing the low turnover to the instability on the Egyptian political scene, in addition to the poor performance of many companies and the international financial recession.
Badra did not believe that other news such as the trial of former president Mubarak, or the kickoff of the third round of Egypt's parliamentary elections today had had a major effect on the exchange.
Egyptian investors dominated turnover at almost 80 per cent and were the only net buyers at LE4.3 million. Foreign and Arab investors were both net sellers.
Out of 160 traded shares on the day, 117 closed in the red, while 30 gained value and 13 remained unchanged. All the market’s blue chips plunged on Tuesday. The market’s biggest caps, Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Telecom Egypt and Commercial International Bank lost 0.42, 0.45 and 0.74 per cent respectively.
The market is expected to get a boost on Wednesday as trading in Orascom Telecom is resumed as two shares - Orascom Telecom Holding and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology.
"Orascom Telecom is one of the largest shares on the exchange and its return should contribute positively to both turnover and bourse level," Badra said.
Top gainers were International Co. For Investment & Development, followed by Mohandes Insurance; both increased by more that 7.5 per cent.
Of the market’s 17 sectors, 10 ended the day up, while four remained unchanged and two gained value.