By Santhosh V. Perumal/Business Reporter
Qatar Stock Exchange witnessed corrections, especially in the insurance, real estate and telecom sectors, and its key index settled a marginal 11 points lower.
Gulf institutions turned net sellers and there were lower buying interests from foreign institutions as the 20-stock Qatar Index fell 0.11% to 10,414.65 points; even as global oil prices stood above $41 a barrel, near its 2016 high.
The index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks was seen gaining marginally vis-à-vis declines in the other indices in the bourse, which is down 0.14% year-to-date.
However, local, Gulf and non-Qatari retail investors turned bullish and there was substantially reduced net selling from domestic institutions in the market, where trading turnover and volumes were on the decline.
A marginal selling was seen in the small cap segments in the bourse, where banking, realty and industrials stocks together accounted for about 81% of the total trading volume.
Market capitalisation was up 0.01% or QR3mn to QR548.12bn with mid, micro and large cap equities gaining 0.39%, 0.31% and 0.18% respectively; even as small caps were down 0.09%.
The Total Return Index fell 0.11% to 16,680.86 points and All Share Index by 0.02% to 2,839.87 points; while Al Rayan Islamic Index was up 0.03% to 3,935.23 points.
Insurance stocks shrank 1.44%, real estate (1.15%) and telecom (0.24%); whereas consumer goods gained 0.96%, transport (0.49%), banks and financial services (0.48%) and industrials (0.08%).
Major losers included Industries Qatar, Gulf International Services, Vodafone Qatar, Ezdan, Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatari German Company for Medical Devices, Al Khaleej Takaful, Mazaya Qatar, Doha Insurance and United Development Company.
However, Barwa, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Gulf Warehousing, Nakilat, Doha Bank, Islamic Holding Group and Medicare Group bucked the trend.
Non-Qatari institutions’ net buying weakened perceptibly to QR52.85mn compared to QR150.05mn the previous trading day.
The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR4.4mn against net buyers of QR23.12mn on March 17.
However, local retail investors turned net buyers to the extent of QR9.46mn compared with net sellers of QR15.8mn last Thursday.
Domestic institutions’ net selling weakened considerably to QR60.36mn against QR141.98mn the previous trading day.
Non-Qatari individual investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.49mn compared with net sellers of QR13.9mn on March 17.
The GCC individual investors were also net buyers to the extent of QR1mn against net profit takers of QR1.56mn last Thursday.
Total trade volume fell 51% to 10.51mn shares, value by 39% to QR414.85mn and deals by 40% to 4,827.
The transport sector reported 73% plunge in trade volume to 0.22mn equities, 75% in value to QR5.66mn and 66% in transactions to 121.
The telecom sector’s trade volume plummeted 62% to 0.61mn stocks, value by 59% to QR12.39mn and deals by 54% to 361.
There was 61% shrinkage in the real estate sector’s trade volume to 2.01mn shares, 55% in value to QR42.65mn and 57% in transactions to 713.
The consumer goods sector’s trade volume tanked 54% to 1.04mn equities, value by 11% to QR58.87mn and deals by 32% to 704.
There was 50% decline in the industrials sector’s trade volume to 1.69mn stocks, 48% in value to QR67.84mn and 36% in transactions to 956.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume shrank 39% to 4.79mn shares, value by 31% to QR219.19mn and deals by 31% to 1,829.
The market witnessed 25% fall in the insurance sector’s trade volume to 0.15mn equities, 47% in value to QR8.27mn and 18% in transactions to 143.
In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds.
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