Reuters – Cairo’s benchmark index climbed 0.6 percent, its first gain in three days, with trading focused on small-caps. Upper Egypt Construction rose 6 percent.
“Investors are cautious and on the sidelines pending better visibility on the constitutional voting and referendum outcome,” said Islam Batraway, a Cairo-based trader.
Egypt completed a draft constitution on Sunday, which opens the way for a presidential election to be held before parliamentary polls, potentially changing the transition plan outlined by the army after the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi.
Dubai’s measure slipped from a five-year high on Wednesday after failing to break above key psychological resistance, while other Middle East bourses were mixed.
Dubai fell 0.2 percent to 2,990 points, just below the important 3,000 level. It closed at a five-year closing high of 2,995 points on Tuesday after recovering from an intraday dip.
“The low for the last week (2,864) and the high of the last week (3,020) are the key levels for the short-term – the long-term bull trend is still there,” said Bruce Powers, a technical analyst and corporate advisor at Orpheus Capital.
Abu Dhabi’s bourse rose 0.3 percent in a catch-up rally, extending 2013 gains to 49.4 percent. Dubai is up 84.1 percent over the same period.
Powers said further gains in Abu Dhabi would also be a bullish signal for neighbouring Dubai.
Investors expect government infrastructure spending in the United Arab Emirates to underpin earnings growth, which has returned as the property and banking sectors recover from a housing price crash, Dubai’s debt problems and the global financial crisis.
In Saudi Arabia, the measure ended a little above Tuesday’s four-week low as it recovered mid-session declines.
“We are witnessing the correction now, but will this end the bull market in Saudi? No, but it raises concerns for some investors,” said Musa Haddad, head of investment advisory services at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
“Medium to long-term investors should not worry. Instead, they should be taking opportunities just like this to build positions in names that have sound fundamentals.”
Haddad said Saudi’s measure, which is up 21 percent this year, has strong support between 7,900 and 8,200 points.
The retail sector index slipped 0.6 percent to trim 2013 gains to 48.5 percent.
Elsewhere, Kuwait’s index climbed 0.2 percent, recovering from Tuesday’s eight-week low. It is up 30.4 percent in 2013, but 8.2 percent below May’s multiyear high, with investors waiting for the government to restart delayed development projects to justify the early-year optimism.