Egypt's exchange saw a slight rebound on Thursday, its first climb in five trading sessions after the weekend's controversial trial verdict for ex-president Hosni Mubarak which once again drove protesters to Cairo's Tahrir Square.
The benchmark EGX30 rose by 0.1 per cent to reach 4.489.55 points -- a performance which one capital market expect called a "feeble reply" to Wednesday's speech by Egypt's interim Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri.
"Ganzouri's speech included several positive indicators but they did not have a strong impact on the market's performance," market-watcher Mostafa Badra told Ahram Online.
During Wednesday's news conference, Ganzouri vowed the mid-June presidential runoff will be free of fraud, "just like the first round", and stressed the interim government does not have a favoured candidate.
The premier also announced a drop in Egypt's external debt, down to $33.2 billion, and confirmed the central bank's announcement that the country's foreign currency reserves rose by $302 million in May, making the total to $15.5 billion.
The market saw another day of diminished trade on Thursday, worth just LE124.3 million, in a vivid reflection of the limited appetites of investors.
From the 163 stocks traded in the session, 108 gained in value and 40 saw losses -- a performance that prompted a rise of 0.7 per cent for the broader EGX70 index.
Orascom Telecom and Orascom Construction Industries were prominent high-cap gainers, edging up 0.6 and 0.7 per cent respectively.
The region's major investment bank EFG-Hermes declined 0.8 per cent and saw the day's heaviest trade as it continued to feel the effects of a bidding war between investment groups.
"Hermes is swinging between Planet IB [a private consortium] and QInvest [a Qatar investment ban] and investors are the prey," Badra said.
Shares in the Commercial International Bank dipped 0.6 per cent, reflecting the overall selling trend among foreign investors.
Foreigners were the day's net-seller, offloading LE5.5 million in stock. Egyptians were net-buyers to the tune of LE7 million.
"We have a new massive protest on Friday which makes foreigner investors feel uncertainty," Badra added.
Property shares had a mixed performance, with the Talaat Mostafa Group slipping 0.7 per cent in value, and Palm Hills edging up 0.6 per cent.