Egypt's stock exchange dipped back into the red on Wednesday in the penultimate trading session before a divisive presidential election as foreign investors offloaded high-cap shares.
The benchmark EGX30 slipped 0.62 per cent to close the day at 4,421 points, reversing Tuesday's mild gains -- the only ones for the index this week.
"Foreigner and Arab investors once again became sellers, with [Thursday's] judgement on parliament and [the presidential run of] Ahmed Shafiq taking centre stage," said a note from Cairo-based Naeem Brokerage.
Thursday will see Egypt's judiciary rule on Shafiq's eligibility for the presidential race and the legitimacy of the country's recently-elected parliament.
Trading volume saw a resurgence on Wednesday, hitting LE273.5 million -- a significant climb on the LE173 million it charted the day before and far above the 10-year low to which it fell on 10 June.
Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) was the driving force behind the increase, its shares seeing LE125.4 million worth of trade and finishing the day up 4.65 per cent.
Shares in the telecoms firm appeared to still be riding Tuesday's wave of optimism prompted by a dividend distribution. Shares in the firm, spun off from an asset-split of Orascom Telecom earlier in the year, gained 9.32 per cent the previous day.
"The market continues to witness higher volumes on the back of OTMT's increased volume .. [it traded] 47 per cent of total turnover ... and bucked the trend," Naeem's note added.
But the brokerage expects overall volumes to fall tomorrow after the interest in OTMT wanes.
Other firms in the sector failed to take OTMT's lead. Mobinil, Orascom Telecom Holding (OT) and Telecom Egypt all lost 5.35, 1.67 and 0.40 percent, respectively.
Shares in Egypt's largest listed firm, Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), lost 1.07 per cent.
From the day's 165 listed stocks, 134 gained in value while 24 lost. The main index saw just five firms chart gains -- all of them of minimal except OTMY.
The broader EGX70 index, meanwhile, lost 1.52 per cent.
Egyptians seemed to be the only investors to keep faith in the market, buying LE55.87 million more in stocks than they sold.
Foreign and Arab investors, on the other hand, sold off a net LE41.2 million and LE14.7 million apiece.