The Qatar Stock Exchange on Thursday witnessed Gulf funds turn bullish and Arab individuals increasingly bought equities; yet it settled 63 points lower.

The weakened net selling pressure of local and foreign retail investors notwithstanding, the 20-stock Qatar Index fell 0.58% to 10,736.35 points although it touched an intraday high of 10,804 points.

Foreign funds were net sellers and there was weakened net buying by their domestic counterparts in the market, whose capitalisation saw more than QR3bn or 0.57% decline to QR622.45bn, mainly dragged by microcap segments.

More than 54% of the traded constituents were in the red in the market, whose year-to-date gains were at 2.88%.

Trade turnover and volumes were on the increase in the market, where Islamic equities were seen declining slower than the other indices.

Gulf individuals were found increasingly into profit booking in the market, where the banking and consumer goods and services sectors accounted for about 60% of the total trading volume.

A total of 62,478 exchange traded funds (Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored QATR) valued at QR653,342 changed hands across seven deals; while in the debt market, there was no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.

The Total Return Index shrank 0.58% to 20,640.28 points, the All Share Index by 0.56% to 3,289.11 points and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.46% to 2,425.17 points.

The banking and financial services sector index declined 0.84%, telecom (0.56%), real estate (0.39%), transport (0.33%), consumer goods and services (0.2%) and industrials (0.19%); while insurance was up 0.09%.

Major losers included Al Khaliji, Ahlibank Qatar, Qatar Islamic Insurance, QIIB, Alijarah Holding, QNB, Qatar Islamic Bank, Doha Bank, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Industries Qatar and Nakilat; even as Al Khaleej Takaful, Dlala, Qatari German Medical Devices, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Qatar First Bank and Salam International Investment were among the gainers.

Foreign institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR5.26mn compared with net buyers of QR44.18mn on January 20.

Domestic institutions’ net buying declined significantly to QR4.43mn against QR24.88mn the previous day.

Gulf individuals’ net profit booking rose marginally to QR0.51mn compared to QR0.37mn on Wednesday.

However, Gulf funds turned net buyers to the extent of QR7.79mn against net sellers of QR26.24mn on January 20.

Arab individuals’ net buying grew perceptibly to QR2.47mn compared to QR1.84mn the previous day.

Qatari retail investors’ net selling shrank markedly to QR7.66mn against QR41.96mn on Wednesday.

Foreign individuals’ net selling also fell notably to QR1.14mn compared to QR2.4mn on January 20.

Arab funds had no major exposure against being net profit takers to the tune of QR0.07mn the previous day.

Total trade volume rose 20% to 266.57mn shares and value by 3% to QR633.4mn, while transactions fell less than 1% to 11,815.

The consumer goods and services sector’s trade volume soared 40% to 62.5mn equities, value by 75% to QR189.34mn and deals by 39% to 2,607.

There was a 36% surge in the insurance sector’s trade volume to 21.31mn stocks, 27% in value to QR51.36mn and 30% in transactions to 951.

The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume shot up 35% to 97.07mn shares, whereas value shrank 12% to QR243.99mn and deals by 11% to 4,051.

The industrials sector saw a 27% expansion in trade volume to 49.91mn equities, 1% in value to QR69.33mn and 22% in transactions to 2,033.

However, the telecom sector’s trade volume plummeted 45% to 5.33mn stocks, value by 59% to QR13.12mn and deals by 55% to 460.

The realty sector reported a 26% plunge in trade volume to 26.01mn shares, 30% in value to QR46.8mn and 5% in transactions to 1,309.

The transport sector’s trade volume tanked 14% to 4.43mn equities, 9% in value to QR19.46mn and 36% in deals to 404.

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