Another bout of profit-taking should be followed by another surge, says one analyst (Photo: AP)
Egyptian stocks closed in the red on Thursday as investors took advantage of a recent rally to make profits.
The benchmark EGX30 finished down 1.41 per cent at 5,828 points as all but a handful of the exchanges highest-cap stocks took hits.
From the 184 shares traded on Thursday, 52 gained in value while 125 declined, a performance reflected in the broader-based EGX70 which dropped a yet-greater 1.64 per cent.
"Investors are deciding to take advantage of recent gains. So long as they are doing this, it's a good indicator that the market will rebound next week," said Ashraf Abdel-Aziz, head of institutional sales at Arabeya Online.
Real estate was the most active sector, responsible for 22 per cent of the session's overall trade of LE903.3 million ($148m).
Six of October for Development & Investment (SODIC) weighed heavily on the sector as shares plummeted 6 per cent to close out at LE24.5 apiece.
Talaat Mostafa Group (TMG) and Palm Hills Development (PHD) fell by 3.2 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively.
There was no respite for building and construction firms either, with Egypt's largest listed firm Orascom Construction Industries losing 1.7 per cent despite announcing a joint venture to build a $400 million shopping mall on the western outskirts of Cairo.
Shares in Ezz Steel, the major player in the country's metal industry, also lost a sizeable 3.2 per cent.
Fellow high-caps Commercial International Bank (CIB), Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) and EFG-Hermes all declined between 1 and 1.7 per cent.
Egyptians were net-buyers to the tune of LE64.1 million, fuelled by the confidence of both institutions and individuals. Non-Arab foreigners, however, made an ordered exit, selling LE58.4 million more in shares than they bought.