Amid concerns on "sticky" inflation data in the US and the perceived little room for reduction in the Federal Reserve interest rates, the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE)

Gulf Times

settled this week on a higher note with its key index gaining as much as 32 points.
The transport counter witnessed substantially higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.31% this week which saw the country unveil its third National Development Strategy 2024-30, targeting an average yearly 4% gross domestic product growth.
The Gulf institutions were seen net buyers this week which saw the country’s largest lender QNB report net profit of QR15.51bn during 2023.
The local retail investors’ weakened net profit booking had its influence in the main market this week which saw Nakilat embark on "strategic" expansion through a significant vessel acquisition by placing order for six gas vessels to meet the increasing demand.
The Gulf individuals’ lower net selling pressure also had its say in the main bourse this week which saw Petrotec, an Al Mahhar Holding subsidiary, has entered into an agreement with a major energy customer in Qatar.
However, as much as 59% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main market this week which saw the Qatar Financial Centre’s purchasing managers’ index find that the country’s non-energy private sector completed a year of solid overall growth during 2023, even as the business optimism “softened” in 2024.
The domestic institutions continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main bourse this week which saw the prospects for the realty and construction sectors in Qatar appear brighter this year with building permits issued witnessing double-digit year-on-year growth in December 2023.
Similarly, the Arab individuals continued to be bullish but with lesser vigour in the main market this week which saw a total of 0.03mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange-traded fund QATR worth QR0.08mn trade across 10 deals.
The foreign individuals were net sellers in the main bourse this week which saw this week which saw as many as 0.01mn Doha Bank-sponsored exchange-traded fund QETF valued at QR0.13mn change hands across 18 transactions.
The foreign funds turned net profit takers in the main market this week, which saw Qatar Islamic Insurance decide to reduce the ‘Wakala’ fee for the policyholders to 30% from 33%.
The Islamic index underperformed the other indices in the main bourse this week which saw the banks and industrials together constitute more than 62% of the total trade volumes.
Market capitalisation was seen adding QR0.7bn or 0.12% to QR609.36bn on the back of microcap segments this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.
Trade volumes and turnover were on the decline in both the main bourse and venture market this week, which saw no trading of treasury bills.
The Total Return Index gained 0.31%, the All Share Index by 0.44% and the All Islamic Index by 0.16% this week.
The transport sector index zoomed 6.02%, banks and financial services (0.57%) and real estate (0.39%); while industrials declined 0.98%, telecom (0.9%), consumer goods and services (0.45%) and insurance (0.02%) this week.
Major gainers in the main market included Milaha, Alijarah Holding, Qatar Cinema and Film Distribution, Aamal Company, Nakilat, QNB, Masraf Al Rayan, Lesha Bank, Qatar National Cement, Qatari Investors Group, Gulf International Services, Doha Insurance, Beema, United Development Company, Mazaya Qatar and Vodafone Qatar. In the venture market, Mahhar Holding saw its shares appreciate in value this week.
Nevertheless, Ahlibank Qatar, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Medicare Group, Qamco, Inma Holding, Industries Qatar, Ooredoo and Gulf Warehousing were among the shakers in the main market. In the junior bourse, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value this week.
The Gulf funds were net buyers to the tune of QR9.09mn against net sellers of QR143.27mn the week ended January 4.
The local retail investors’ net profit booking fell drastically to QR23.12mn compared to QR77.14mn a week ago.
The Gulf individual investors’ net selling weakened markedly to QR1.4mn against QR10.94mn the previous week.
However, the foreign individuals were net sellers to the extent of QR13.6mn compared with net buyers of QR11.27mn the week ended January 4.
The foreign funds turned net profit takers to the tune of QR9.35mn against net buyers of QR87.93mn a week ago.
The Arab institutions were net profit takers to the extent of QR0.14mn compared with no major net exposure the previous week.
The domestic funds’ net buying plummeted significantly to QR33.53mn against QR125.41mn the week ended January 4.
The Arab individual investors’ net buying eased marginally to QR5mn compared to QR6.76mn a week ago.
The main market witnessed an 18% surge in trade volumes to 680.61mn shares, 26% in value to QR1.99bn and 11% in deals to 74,986 this week.
In the venture market, trade volumes declined 23% to 1.46mn equities, value by 21% to QR1.47mn and transactions by 24% to 98.
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