Staff at Egypt's stock exchange market (Photo: AP)
Egyptian stocks ended the day down by less than half a percentage point Thursday after plunging 3 per cent in morning trading.
By the end of the session, the main EGX30 index had shed 0.16 per cent to alight at 4,807 points. The broader-based EGX70 index, meanwhile, ended up by 0.81 per cent.
"The market was irrational today; I don't have a clear explanation for the shift from losses to gains over the course of the trade session," Ashraf Abdel-Aziz, head of institutional sales at Cairo-based Arabeya Online Securities, told Ahram Online.
"Share prices might be attractive, but Egypt's current political situation is not," he added.
Arab investors were the day's only net buyers, picking up some LE29.5 million in stocks and pushing the market upwards after morning losses. Egyptian and foreign investors, meanwhile, ended the day as net sellers.
On Sunday, the market plunged by 9.5 per cent following President Mohamed Morsi's controversial constitutional declaration. Morsi issued the controversial decree, which makes his decisions immune from judicial challenge, last Thursday.
The decision triggered popular rallies across the country, while hundreds of protesters have continued to hold a sit-in in Cairo's Tahrir Square against the president's decree. The decree also angered Egyptian judges, many of whom have suspended their work until the declaration is reversed.
The Egyptian bourse has seen turbulence since the beginning of the week, during which time it has lost some LE36 billion (roughly $6.1 billion).
"Investors are very worried. The unlimited power the president has given himself makes things very unclear and has destabilised the judiciary," said Abdel-Aziz.
Market giant Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) gained some 0.52 per cent for the day. Blue chips Telecom Egypt and Commercial International Bank, meanwhile, lost 0.08 and 1.9 per cent respectively.
The financial services sector topped the market on Thursday in terms of turnover.