By Santhosh V. Perumal/Business Reporter
Qatar Stock Exchange continued to be marginally bearish with its key index settling eight points lower despite stronger buying support from foreign institutions.
Profit booking was intense especially within the insurance and transport sectors as the 20-stock Qatar Index settled 0.07% lower at 10,238.17 points, amidst reports suggesting production freeze may not be the likely outcome of April 17 meeting of oil producers.
Domestic institutions increasingly offloaded their stocks in the market, which is down 1.83% year-to-date.
However, local retail investors’ net selling weakened and Gulf institutions turned bullish in the bourse, where trading turnover and volumes were on the decline.
The index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks was seen gaining vis-à-vis declines in the other indices in the market, where real estate, banking and industrials stocks together constituted about 60% of the total trading volume.
Market capitalisation was down 0.04% or QR24mn to QR547.85bn with micro, mid and small cap equities losing 0.52%, 0.37% and 0.05% respectively, whereas large caps were marginally up 0.01%.
The Total Return Index fell 0.08% to 16,564.68 points and All Share Index also by 0.08% to 2,858.35 points; while Al Rayan Islamic Index rose 0.18% to 4,054.04 points.
Insurance stocks shrank 2.09%, transport (1.13%), consumer goods (0.06%) and banks and financial services (0.01%); whereas telecom gained 1.26%, realty (0.22%) and industrials (0.16%).
More than 52% of the stocks were in the red with major losers being QNB, Qatar Insurance, Al Khaleej Takaful, Dlala, Commercial Bank, Nakilat, Barwa, Gulf International Services, United Development Company and Qatari German Company for Medical Devices; even as Ooredoo, Vodafone Qatar, Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, al khaliji and Qatar Electricity and Water bucked the trend.
Domestic institutions’ net profit booking strengthened to QR83.71mn compared to QR63.72mn the previous day.
The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR0.89mn against net buyers of QR9.39mn on April 13.
The GCC individual investors’ net profit booking rose to QR2.56mn compared to QR2.02mn on Wednesday.
However, non-Qatari institutions’ net buying increased perceptibly QR90.01mn against QR75.52mn the previous day.
Non-Qatari individual investors’ net buying surged to QR6.5mn compared to QR0.83mn on April 13.
Local retail investors’ net profit booking weakened considerably to QR9.35mn against QR20.05mn on Wednesday.
Total trade volume fell 15% to 9.16mn shares, value by 7% to QR406.37mn and deals by 4% to 5,689.
The banks and financial services sector saw 52% plunge in trade volume to 1.64mn equities, 50% in value to QR81.28mn and 14% in transactions to 1,314.
The industrials sector’s trade volume plummeted 30% to 1.59mn stocks but value rose 17% to QR110.14mn, while deals shrank 41% to 1,000.
The market witnessed 7% decline in the transport sector’s trade volume to 1.23mn shares, 16% in value to QR58.07mn and 16% in transactions to 671.
However, the telecom sector’s trade volume soared 72% to 1.1mn equities to more than quadruple value to QR65.73mn and more than double deals to 1,301.
The consumer goods sector reported 19% surge in trade volume to 1.25mn stocks but on 10% fall in value to QR46.42mn. Transactions were up 3% to 588.
The market witnessed 11% expansion in the real estate sector’s trade volume to 2.24mn shares and 1% in value to QR38.62mn but on less than 1% fall deals to 712.
The insurance sector’s trade volume increased 11% to 0.1mn equities, 1% in value to QR6.1mn and 11% in transactions to 103.
In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds.
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