By Santhosh V. Perumal/Business Reporter
Qatar Stock Exchange witnessed strong selling and its key index fell 196 points to settle at a tad above 9,800 levels, as speculation was rife over US Fed rate hike, which led the energy prices slid below $48 a barrel.
An across the board profit booking – particularly in the insurance, real estate, telecom and banking counters – led the 20-stock plunge about 2% to 9,813.96 points on declining trading turnover and volumes.
Foreign institutions were seen hurriedly squaring off their position in the market, which is down 5.9% year-to-date.
However, domestic institutions as well as non-Qatari and Gulf individual investors turned bullish and there was increased net buying from local investors in the bourse, where telecom, banking, realty and industrials stocks together constituted about 89% of the total trading volume.
Market capitalisation eroded 1.8% or about QR10bn to QR528.07bn.
The Total Return Index shrank 1.96% to 15,878.33 points, All Share Index by 1.85% to 2,744.67 points and Al Rayan Islamic Index by 1.54% to 3,859.19 points.
Insurance stocks tanked 3.08%, real estate (2.37%), telecom (2.36%), banks and financial services (2.06%), industrials (1.24%), consumer goods (0.9%) and transport (0.65%).
More than 88% of the stocks were in the red with major losers being Qatar Insurance, Ezdan, Barwa, Ooredoo, QNB, Qatar Islamic Bank, Doha Bank, Ahli Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Alijarah Holding, Industries Qatar, Gulf International Services, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding and Nakilat.
Non-Qatari institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR41.93mn compared with net buyers of QR10.25mn on Wednesday.
However, domestic institutions turned net buyers to the extent of QR13.87mn against net sellers of QR4.32mn on May 18.
Local retail investors’ net buying strengthened to QR31.86mn compared to QR12.67mn the previous day.
Non-Qatari individual investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR3.54mn against net sellers of QR2.02mn on Wednesday.
The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) institutions’ net selling weakened to QR8.21mn compared to QR13.94mn on May 18.
The GCC individual investors turned net buyers to the extent of QR0.9mn against net sellers of QR2.61mn the previous day.
Total trade volume fell 10% to 7.31mn shares and value by 2% to QR230.01mn but deals were up 6% to 3,933.
There was 40% plunge in the industrials sector’s trade volume to 1.01mn equities, 23% in value to QR49.51mn and 28% in transactions to 723.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume plummeted 27% to 2.05mn stocks, value by 15% to QR72.72mn and deals by 6% to 1,092.
The telecom sector saw less than 1% fall in trade volume to 2.37mn shares but on 16% increase in value to QR43.53mn and 23% in transactions to 1,005.
However, the real estate sector’s trade volume soared 88% to 1.07mn equities, value by 91% to QR22.95mn and deals by 79% to 524.
The market witnessed 67% surge in the insurance sector’s trade volume to 0.1mn stocks and 52% in value to QR6.69mn on more than doubled transactions to 1,06.
The transport sector’s trade volume shot up 24% to 0.36mn shares and value by 87% to QR16.43mn on more than doubled deals to 249.
The consumer goods sector reported 3% expansion in trade volume to 0.36mn equities but on 17% shrinkage in value to QR18.18mn and 20% in transactions to 234.
In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds.
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