Qatar Stock Exchange plunged 167 points to settle below the 10,300 mark on domestic institutions’ net selling and their foreign counterparts’ lower penchant for buying.

Profit booking was seen intense especially in the insurance, real estate and telecom counters as the 20-stock Qatar Index plunged 1.6% to 10,285.5 points as global oil prices eased further to settle below $40 a barrel.

However, local retail investors turned bullish and there was also weakened net selling by Gulf individuals and institutions in the bourse, which is however down 1.38% year-to-date.

The index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks was seen falling faster than the other indices in the market, where turnover and volumes were also on the decline.

Large, mind and small cap came under strong profit booking in the market, where realty, banking and industrials stocks together accounted for about 77% of the total trading volume.

Market capitalisation eroded 1.32% or more than QR7bn to QR544.7bn as large, mid, small and microcap equities declined 1.45%, 1.17%, 1.08% and 0.93% respectively.

The Total Return Index fell 1.34% to 16,516.6 points, All Share Index by 1.22% to 2,830.53 points and Al Rayan Islamic Index by 1.4% to 3,945.26 points.

Insurance stocks shrank 2.73%, real estate (2.05%), telecom (1.43%), banks and financial services (1.12%), industrials (0.78%) and transport (0.49%); while consumer goods were up 0.08%.

More than 68% of the stocks were in the red with major shakers being Commercial Bank, Qatar Insurance, Gulf International Services, Vodafone Qatar, Gulf Warehousing, Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar, Qatari Investors Group, Mannai Corporation, Aamal Company, QNB, Doha Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank, Dlala, Alijarah Holding and Qatari German Company for Medical Devices; even as Doha Insurance and Al Khaleej Takaful bucked the trend.

Domestic institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR9.19mn compared with net buyers of QR22.63mn on Wednesday.

Non-Qatari institutions’ net buying weakened further to QR13.81mn against QR30.82mn the previous day.

However, local retail investors turned net buyers to the extent of QR2.73mn compared with net sellers of QR38.41mn on March 23.

Non-Qatari individual investors’ net buying rose to QR7.44mn against QR6.69mn on Wednesday.

The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) institutions’ net selling weakened to QR12.29mn compared to QR18.71mn the previous day.

The GCC individual investors’ net profit booking fell to QR2.46mn against QR3.02mn on March 23.

Total trade volume fell 20% to 9.68mn shares, value by 17% to QR336.77mn and deals by 4% to 5,271.

The consumer goods sector saw 54% plunge in trade volume to 0.64mn equities, 31% in value to QR39.53mn and 33% in transactions to 588.

The transport sector’s trade volume plummeted 38% to 0.44mn stocks, value by 35% to QR20.18mn and deals by 21% to 256.

There was 38% decline in the banks and financial services sector’s trade volume to 2.24mn shares, 24% in value to QR99.57mn and 26% in transactions to 1,321.

The telecom sector’s trade volume tanked 23% to 0.72mn equities, while value rose 4% to QR16.79mn and deals by 29% to 514.

The real estate sector reported 12% decline in trade volume to 2.92mn stocks but on 6% growth in value to QR59.98mn and 9% in transactions to 1,043.

However, the insurance sector’s trade volume more than tripled to 0.44mn shares, value expanded 44% to QR11.12mn and deals by 88% to 160.

The market witnessed 11% jump in the industrials sector’s trade volume to 2.28mn equities but on 16% fall in value to QR89.59mn. Transactions grew 34% to 1,389.

In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds.

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