Reflecting global sentiments, the Qatar Stock Exchange on Thursday witnessed a 383 points and QR20bn decline in key barometer and capitalisation respectively.

Foreign funds were increasingly into profit booking as the 20-stock Qatar Index lost 4.45% to 8,230.41 points, although it touched a low of 8,001 points within seconds of opening, mirroring the trends after the US imposed travel sanctions in Europe in view of Covid-19 outbreak.

The selling pressure from local retail investors and Gulf funds also increased on the market, whose year-to-date losses swelled to 21.06%.

Market capitalisation saw 4.17% erosion to QR461.26bn mainly owing to mid and small cap segments.

Islamic stocks were seen declining slower than the main barometer on the bourse, where domestic funds were increasingly bullish.

Trade turnover and volumes were on the increase on the bourse, where realty sector alone accounted for about 43% of the total trading volume.

The Total Return Index shrank 4.31% to 15,527.7 points, Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 3.45% to 1,795.07 points and All Share Index by 4.33% to 2,524.83 points.

The telecom index plummeted 9.71%, transport (7.37%), banks and financial services (4.8%), insurance (4.67%), real estate (3.97%), industrials (1.95%) and consumer goods (1.71%).

About 79% of the traded constituents were in the red with major losers being Ooredoo, Vodafone Qatar, Nakilat, Milaha, Gulf Warehousing, QNB, Commercial Bank, QIIB, Mannai Corporation, Aamal Company, Gulf International Services, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Qamco, Qatar Insurance, Al Khaleej Takaful and Industries Qatar; even as Ezdan, Qatar First Bank, Qatar General insurance and Reinsurance, Zad Holding, Dlala and Ahlibank Qatar were among the gainers.

Non-Qatari institutions’ net selling increased considerably to QR98.25mn compared to QR9.75mn on March 11.

Local retail investors’ net selling also grew noticeably to QR8.7mn against QR4.31mn the previous day.

The Gulf institutions’ net profit booking rose marginally to QR3.45mn compared to QR2.37mn on Wednesday.

The Gulf individuals turned net sellers to the tune of QR0.55mn against net buyers of QR1.9mn on March 11.

However, domestic funds’ net buying strengthened significantly to QR109.81mn compared to QR13.82mn the previous day.

Non-Qatari individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR1.11mn against net profit takers of QR1.29mn on Wednesday.

Total trade volumes rose 9% to 196.83mn shares and value by 19% to QR426.43mn, while transactions fell 3% to 9,057.

The banks and financial services sector saw 35% surge in trade volume to 39.35mn equities, 45% in value to QR183.3mn and 51% in deals to 3,597.

The real estate sector’s trade volume soared 26% to 83.76mn stocks and value by 10% to QR63.46mn, whereas transactions were down 9% to 1,464.

There was 14% expansion in the transport sector’s trade volume to 17.06mn shares and 2% in value to QR33.73mn but on 54% decline in deals to 427.

The industrials sector’s trade volume was up 4% to 31.97mn equities and value by 4% to QR48.68mn, while transactions shrank 14% to 1,453.

However, the consumer goods sector reported 45% plunge in trade volume to 15.25mn stocks but on 26% growth in value to QR73.64mn and 3% in deals to 1,379.

The insurance sector’s trade volume tanked 25% to 3.25mn shares, value by 21% to QR6.51mn and transactions by 35% to 209.

The market witnessed 11% shrinkage in the telecom sector’s trade volume to 6.18mn equities, 40% in value to QR17.09mn and 51% in deals to 528.

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

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