CAIRO: Egypt’s main EGX 30 index surged 7.2 percent on Thursday, the highest rise in months, as the first anniversary of the January 25 uprising passed peacefully.
Sentiment was also boosted after Egypt’s new parliament held its first session on Monday. Banks and the stock market were closed on Tuesday, a national holiday in Egypt
Upon reopening, stocks rose and by mid-session, trading was suspended for a half hour after the market rose by more than 5 percent, triggering circuit breakers in place since March 2011.
The EGX 30 climbed to 4,272 at 10:30 am, steadily rose to 4,405 points by 12:30 and ended the day at 4,433 points.
The broader EGX 70 ended the week up 5.3 percent at 447 points and EGX 100 rose 5.8 percent at 721 points.
The construction and materials sector continued to be the best performing in the market, with a value of LE 81.8 million, comprising about 25.4 percent of market capitalization, while telecommunications came in second making up 19.7 percent, a value of LE 50.6 million.
The real estate and travel and leisure sectors, both of which have taken a hit over the past months, saw better performing stocks, making up 5.7 percent of market capitalization and 2.0 percent, respectively.
Concerns that protests planned for Jan. 25 would turn violent if met with a crackdown by security forces were allayed after hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully through main avenues around the country, and in Cairo, headed to the iconic Tahrir Square.
Protesters demanded a swift transition to civilian rule, justice for the revolution martyrs, and echoed the same chants of the 2011 uprising of “bread, freedom and social justice.”
Local investors’ confidence improved with Egyptian investors responsible for about 63.9 percent of Thursday’s trading.
Foreign investors were also active in the market, making up about 29.4 percent of trading volume, while Arab investors made up about 6.7 percent.
Egyptian institutions bought into the market, at a value of LE 100.3 million while foreign institutions bought at a value of LE 180.4 million.
The day’s activity also showed an almost even split between institutional and individual investors in the market, at about 50.1 percent and 49.9 percent, respectively.