The Qatar Stock Exchange on Sunday witnessed stronger buying interests in the Islamic stocks but overall it lost 25 points and its key barometer settled below 9,200 levels.

A higher than average selling pressure was experienced in the banking sector — notably Masraf Al Rayan and Al Khaliji, which are in the midst of merger talks – leading to a 0.27% decline in the 20-stock Qatar Index to 9,187.17 points, although it touched a high of 9,230 points intraday.

Foreign funds’ substantially weakened net buying interests and the Gulf funds’ bearish outlook rather dampened the sentiments on the bourse, whose year-to-date losses were at 11.88%.

Nevertheless, market capitalisation saw about QR2bn or 0.34% increase to QR536.43bn mainly owing to small and microcap segments.

Islamic stocks were seen gaining vis-à-vis declines in the market, which saw local retail investors increasingly net buyers.

Trade turnover and volumes were on the decline on the market, where the real estate and industrials sectors together accounted for more than 54% of the total trading volume.

The Total Return Index fell 0.27% to 17,662.03 points and All Share Index by 0.27% to 2,870.01 points, while Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) rose 0.43% to 2,076.44 points.

The banks and financial services index declined 0.98% and insurance 0.12%; whereas real estate gained 2.19%, transport (1.08%), industrials (0.7%), telecom (0.31%) and consumer goods and services (0.13%).

Major decliners included Al Khaliji, Masraf Al Rayan, Commercial Bank, QNB, Islamic Holding Group, Mannai Corp and Widam Food; even as about 57% of the traded constituents extended gains with major movers being Qatar First Bank, Qatar Oman Investment, Salam International Investment, Qatari Investors Group, Gulf International Services, Qamco, Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar, United Development Company, Vodafone Qatar, Nakilat and Gulf Warehousing.

Foreign institutions’ net buying eased significantly to QR0.65mn compared to QR36.08mn the previous trading day.

The Gulf individuals were net sellers to the tune of QR0.6mn against net buyers of QR0.92mn last Thursday.

However, local retail investors’ net buying grew substantially to QR12.45mn compared to QR2.03mn on July 2.

The Gulf institutions’ net buying increased considerably to QR3.6mn against QR0.07mn the previous trading day.

The Arab individuals turned net buyers to the extent of QR0.65mn compared with net sellers of QR10.08mn last Thursday.

Domestic funds’ net profit booking decreased noticeably to QR14.8mn against QR22.92mn on July 2.

Foreign individuals’ net selling weakened perceptibly to QR1.85mn compared to QR6.09mn the previous trading day.

The Arab institutions continued to have no major exposure.

Total trade volumes fell 14% to 340.42mn shares, value by 24% to QR500.09mn and transactions by 19% to 8,401.

There was 41% plunge in the telecom sector’s trade volume to 1.92mn equities, 64% in value to QR3.24mn and 72% jump in deals to 167.

The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume plummeted 33% to 76.15 stocks, value by 48% to QR136.79mn and transactions by 29% to 2,404.

The transport sector reported 23% shrinkage in trade volume to 8.41mn shares and 32% in value to QR37.77mn but on 16% growth in deals to 465.

The consumer goods and services sector’s trade volume tanked 20% to 62.82mn equities, value by 14% to QR83.85mn and transactions by 11% to 1,532.

The insurance sector saw 18% contraction in trade volume to 6.52mn stocks, 7% in value to QR11.05mn and 26% in deals to 250.

The real estate sector’s trade volume shrank 17% to 99.45mn shares, value by 10% to QR123.27mn and transactions by 18% to 1,576.

However, the market witnessed 44% surge in the industrials sector’s trade volume to 85.15mn equities and 26% in value to QR103.12mn but on 1% fall in deals to 2,007.

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

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