The Qatar Stock Exchange Monday lost as much as 331 points in its key index and more than QR21bn in capitalisation despite strong buying interests from domestic funds and local retail investors.
An across-the-board selling pressure, notably in insurance, telecom and banking counters, led the 20-stock Qatar Index plummet 3.85% to 8,258.57 points, although it touched a high of 8,589 points within the first few minutes of opening.
Foreign institutions were seen hurriedly squaring off their position, reflecting the apprehensions over the rising lock-down reports in the region and fears of the global pandemic Covid-19-led recession.
The Gulf individual investors continued to be net buyers but with lesser vigour on the bourse, whose year-to-date losses swelled to 20.78%.
"The markets are yet to bottom out as the crisis is unfolding," an analyst with a leading investment house said, adding that the Gulf economies' derived strengths are at present on the slide owing to weak expected global outlook.
Market capitalisation saw about 4.39% erosion to QR466.17bn, mainly dragged by large and midcap segments.
Islamic stocks were seen weakening slower than the other indices on the market, where the Gulf institutions continued to be bearish but with lesser intensity.
Trade turnover and volumes were on the increase on the bourse, where banking and realty sectors together accounted for about 58% of the total trading volume.
The Total Return Index tanked 3.7% to 15,740.19 points, Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 2.79% to 1,741.2 points and All Share Index by 4.06% to 2,567.71 points.
The insurance index plunged 5.54%, telecom (5.47%), banks and financial services (4.48%), industrials (3.76%), transport (2.96%), real estate (2%) and consumer goods and services (1.92%).
More than 89% of the traded stocks were in the red with major losers being Qatar Insurance, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Ooredoo, Milaha, Gulf Warehousing, QNB, Commercial Bank, Doha Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Dlala, Industries Qatar, Aamal Company, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Qatar Electricity and Water, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Ezdan and Barwa; whereas Mannai Corporation and Qatar Oman Investment were among the gainers.
Non-Qatari institutions' net profit booking increased substantially to QR93.1mn compared to QR23.58mn the previous day.
The Gulf individuals investors' net buying weakened noticeably to QR0.13mn against QR2.46mn on March 22.
However, domestic funds' net buying strengthened significantly to QR72.33mn compared to QR29.49mn on Sunday.
Local retail investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR24.9mn against net sellers of QR3.3mn the previous day.
The Gulf institutions’ net profit booking declined marginally to QR3.84mn compared to QR3.91mn on March 22.
Non-Qatari individual investors' net selling also fell perceptibly to QR0.5mn against QR1.16mn on Sunday.
Total trade volumes rose 34% to 109.48mn shares and value by 57% to QR330.73mn on more than doubled transactions to 10,263.
The telecom sector's trade volume grew more than five-fold to 4.61mn equities and value by about seven-fold to QR19.24mn on almost 10-fold growth in deals to 1,033.
The transport sector's trade volume more than doubled to 9.71mn stocks and value soared 52% to QR32.76mn on more than quadrupled transactions to 860.
The banks and financial services sector saw 65% surge in trade volume to 34.33 shares and 64% in value to QR179.09mn on more than doubled deals to 4,644.
The consumer goods sector's trade volume shot up 54% to 17.13mn equities, value by 8% to QR25.07mn and transactions by 24% to 759.
The industrials sector reported 52% expansion in trade volume to 14.27mn stocks and value by 28% to QR32.08mn on more than doubled deals to 1,629.
However, the insurance sector's trade volume tanked 32% to 1mn shares and value by 16% to QR2.21mn, while transactions more than doubled to 196.
There was 14% shrinkage in the real estate sector’s trade volume to 29.03mn equities but on 55% increase in value to QR40.29mn and 47% in deals to 1,142.
In the debt market, there was no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.