Egyptian stocks started the week firmly in the red, capping a recent rally, as foreign buyers staged a retreat amid diminished Sunday trade.
The benchmark EGX30 fell 1.11 per cent to close at 5,821.8 points, with just four heavyweight stocks managing to make gains. The broader-based EGX70 did scarcely better, slipping 0.79 per cent.
From the total 176 stocks traded on Sunday, just 48 gained in value while 120 declined, with investors ignoring a smattering of positive news for major firms to focus on profits.
Turnover was just LE533.3 million ($87.5m), just half the level the resurgent Bourse saw little over a week ago.
Foreign investors – particularly institutions – were the day's major sellers, offloading LE38.286 million more in stocks than they bought.
Egyptian individuals, by contrast, remained fairly bullish and closed out the day as net-buyers to the tune of LE31.8 million.
Troubled property developer Palm Hills witnessed the heaviest trade, worth some LE46.6 million, but its stocks tumbled 2.98 per cent, pulling down the whole market.
A process of the market's high-caps – including Citadel Capital, Juhayna, Orascom Telecom and SODIC – made relatively modest losses of between 1 and 2.5 per cent.
Egypt's largest-listed company, Oracom Construction Industries, saw the day's second most intense trade but slid 0.64 per cent.
Shares in Telecom Egypt slipped 1 per cent, ignoring news the state-owned firm had appointed a new chairman from the private sector. His selection was broadly welcomed by restive workers at the company, suggesting a recent spate of labour disputes may be quelled.
Meanwhile mid-range cap Orascom Development Holdings saw its stock value slide 1.7 per cent, despite the weekend restarting of shipping at its tourist port of Taba Heights after 16 months of enforced closure.
National Societe Generale Bank was one of the few firms to swim against the tide, gaining a hearty 2.06 per cent amid general optimism over its imminent takeover by Qatar National Bank.