By Santhosh V. Perumal/Business Reporter

Severe selling pressure, especially from foreign and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) institutions, led Qatar Stock Exchange plunge 139 points to settle a tad above 11,400 mark.

Profit booking was seen intense in the banking, industrials and insurance counters as the 20-stock Qatar Index shed 1.21% to 11,418.68 points amid higher overall volumes.

Lower buying interests of non-Qatari individual investors also extended bearish momentum to the market, which is down 7.06% year-to-date.

Nevertheless, buying interests were seen among local and GCC retail investors as well as domestic institutions in the bourse, where trading was largely skewed towards the real estate, banking and industrials sectors, whose stocks together constituted about 78% of the overall trading volume.

Market capitalisation eroded 1.19% or more than QR7bn to QR602.39bn with large, small, micro and mid cap equities melting 1.4%, 1.39%, 0.73% and 0.27% respectively.

The Total Return Index shrank 1.21% to 17,748.69 points, All Share Index by 1.11% to 3,037.46 points and Al Rayan Islamic Index by 1.11% to 4,335.67 points.

Banks and financial services stocks plummeted 1.42%, industrials (1.41%), insurance (1.24%), realty (0.98%) and transport (0.05%); even as telecom gained 0.14% and consumer goods (0.06%).

Major losers included QNB, Masraf Al Rayan, al khaliji, Qatar Islamic Bank, Industries Qatar, Qatari Investors Group, Gulf International Services, Ezdan, Barwa, United Development Company and Vodafone Qatar; whereas Ooredoo, Commercial Bank and Nakilat bucked the trend.

The GCC institutions’ net profit booking soared to QR55.49mn compared to QR10.98mn September 14.

Non-Qatari institutions’ net selling increased to QR61.81nmn compared to QR0.29mn on Wednesday.

The GCC individual investors’ net buying weakened to QR7.64mn against QR1.39mn the previous day.

However, domestic institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR63.64mn compared with net sellers of QR29.34mn on September 14.

Local retail investors’ net buying surged to QR37.82mn against QR28.95mn on Wednesday.

Non-Qatari individual investors’ net buying rose to QR8.27mn compared to QR10.24mn the previous day.

Total trade volume rose 40% to 7.6mn shares, value by 91% to QR389.94mn and deals by 19% to 4,283.

The insurance sector’s trade volume grew more than 12-fold to 0.69mn equities and value by more than seven-fold to QR29.92mn on more than doubled transactions to 131.

The industrials sector’s trade volume more than tripled to 1.84mn stocks and value almost tripled to QR116.3mn on 42% jump in deals to 1,347.

The consumer goods sector’s trade volume doubled to 0.34mn shares and value more than quadrupled to QR29.07mn on 7% rise in transactions to 161.

The telecom sector saw 19% expansion in trade volume to QR0.56mn equities, 80% in value to QR18.28mn and 30% in deals to 423.

The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume soared 11% to 2.33mn stocks, value by 55% to QR153.87mn and transactions by 29% to 1,544.

However, the market witnessed 61% plunge in the transport sector’s trade volume to 0.11mn shares, 54% in value to QR3.03mn and 23% in deals to 150.

The real estate sector’s trade volume was down 1% to 1.73mn equities; while value rose 3% to QR39.47mn. Transactions shrank 28% to 527.

In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills but a total of 70,000 government bonds valued at QR701.43mn changed hands across five deals.

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