Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) was the main support as Egypt s main index ended 0.35 percent higher in a session of low-volume trade.
The market is still stagnant. Buyers are not confident enough to start buying, and sellers are not in a panic to sell, said Omar Darwish of CIBC brokerage.
Volumes remain the weakest link, so the market is still looking sideways, maybe slightly higher, said Darwish.
Among biggest gainers, OCI rises 1.4 percent, Sewedy Cables gained 1.7 percent and Ezz Steel added 1 percent.
OCI basically initiated the buying power we are seeing, said Darwish, citing a positive outlook for housing growth in 2010, and strong performance of OCI s global depositary receipts (GDRs) on Friday, when the Egyptian exchange is closed.
Arab Cotton Ginning advanced 0.9 percent. The firm said it sold land holdings for $15.5 million.
Talaat Moustafa Group, Egypt s biggest listed developer by market value, dropped 1.6 percent, and Orascom Telecom fell 1.4 percent. EFG-Hermes nudged down 0.5 percent and Mobinil dipped 0.9 percent.
Egypt s secondary index EGX70 retreated 0.5 percent to 719 points.
Small caps were up more than 20 percent year-to-date, so a correction was due. (Small caps) are probably waiting for big caps to stabilize to turn around and rally, said Darwish.
The main index closed at 6,807 points. -Reuters