Gulf Times

Mirroring the global sentiments on expectations of up to 25 basis points hike in the US interest rates, the Qatar Stock Exchange Wednesday fell for the second consecutive day as it lost more than 132 points in key index and QR8bn in capitalisation.
A higher than average selling pressure at the insurance, banking and industrials counters led the 20-stock Qatar Index to decline 1.21% to 10,799.84 points.
The market, which was highly skewed towards shakers, had touched an intraday high of 11,040 points, indicating demand generation especially during the first 60 minutes of the start.
The local retail investors were seen bearish in the main market, whose year-to-date gains truncated further to 1.11%.
More than 67% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR8.25bn or 1.33% erosion to QR611.7bn, mainly led by small and midcap segments.
The foreign individual investors’ weakened net buying also had its influence in the main market, which saw a total of 0.31mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.82mn changed hands across 19 deals.
However, the foreign institutions were seen net buyers in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.
The Islamic index was seen declining slower than the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.
The Total Return Index shed 1.21%, the All Share Index by 1.27% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.33% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the increase.
The insurance sector index tanked 2.9%, banks and financial services (1.75%), industrials (1.55%) and consumer goods and services (0.04%); while telecom gained 1.34%, real estate (0.65%) and transport (0.05%).
Major shakers in the main market included Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Medicare Group, Doha Bank, Inma Holding, Al Khaleej Takaful, QNB, Lesha Bank, Salam International Investment, Baladna, Mekdam Holding, Qatar Electricity and Water, Estithmar Holding, Qatar Insurance, Mazaya Qatar and Gulf Warehousing.
Nevertheless, United Development Company, Aamal Company, Mannai Corporation, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Ooredoo and QIIB were among the gainers in the main market.
The local retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR78.18mn compared with net buyers of QR37.5mn on January 31.
The foreign individuals’ net buying weakened markedly to QR1.8mn against QR4.38mn the previous day.
However, the foreign institutions were net buyers to the extent of QR33.24mn compared with net sellers of QR40.91mn on Tuesday.
The Gulf institutions’ net buying strengthened considerably to QR17.57mn against QR7.6mn on January 31.
The domestic funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR16.88mn compared with net sellers of QR13.42mn the previous day.
The Arab individual investors’ net buying expanded noticeably to QR8.44mn against QR4.79mn on Tuesday.
The Gulf retail investors’ net buying grew marginally to QR0.13mn compared to QR0.06mn on January 31.
The Arab institutions were net buyers to the extent of QR0.11mn against no major net exposure the previous day.
The main market saw a 13% jump in trade volumes to 152.61mn shares, 7% in value to QR644.07mn and 3% in deals to 20,133.

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