CAIRO: Egyptian shares pared some early gains to close half a percent higher on Wednesday, tracking Gulf and global markets amid widespread fear of a global economic downturn, dealers said.
We (traders) are all bullish, but there is weakness in the market and we just have to accept it and ride it through, said Teymour El-Derini from Beltone Financial.
Heavily weighted Orascom Construction Industries, the most traded stock by value, fell 6.4 percent to last trade at LE192.02 ($34.37) after opening positively.
Fertilizer prices are going down, so they might have overpaid for the companies they acquired in the last year, Derini said, adding that the firm s construction output would be hard hit in the event of a regional downswing.
The benchmark CASE 30 index had traded as high as 5,087.2 points before closing up 0.57 percent at 4,887.06 points.
The Hermes index ended 0.72 percent higher at 438.24 points and the broader CIBC index rose 3.51 percent to 269.42 points.
The market rallied at the beginning of the session, and the main rally was in retail stocks, not in blue chips, said Wafik Dawood from Naeem Brokerage.
Dawood said the market started to dip after foreigners and non-Egyptian Arabs sold big-cap stocks, which caused retail investors to reverse their earlier purchases.
We need to see a bottom before we start to talk about a reversal of trends, but we are not seeing this anywhere in the world, Dawood said.
Real estate developer Talaat Moustafa was also heavily traded and it shares lost 2.75 percent to LE 3.54, days after saying it expected 30 percent profit growth in 2008.
The firm, one of a few that investors are able to buy and sell on the same day, had traded as high as LE 3.96.
Telecom Egypt, which reports its third-quarter results on Nov. 13, dipped 4.6 percent to LE13.48, shedding most of its gains from Tuesday when it hit its highest level since Oct. 7.
Orascom Telecom (OT) gained 0.09 percent. The chairman of OT, Naguib Sawiris, told reporters on Wednesday the company is not interested in a stake in Telekom Austria.