The Qatar Stock Exchange on Thursday witnessed its key index inch near 10,100 levels intraday but lost steam over the second half to finally settle 40 points.
The domestic funds were seen increasingly net buyers and Arab individuals were seen bullish even as the 20-stock Qatar Index settled 40 points or 0.4% lower at 10,004.19 points, having touched an intraday low of 9,993 points.
The telecom and insurance counters witnessed higher than average selling pressure in the bourse, whose year-to-date losses widened to 4.14%.
Foreign funds continued to be net profit takers but with lesser intensity in the market, whose capitalisation saw about QR3bn or 0.48% decrease to QR579.63bn, mainly owing to small and microcap segments.
The weakened net buying of local retail investors and the Gulf funds had their say in dampening the bourse, which nevertheless saw more than 52% of the traded constituents extend gains to investors.
Trade turnover shrank amidst higher volumes in the market, where the industrials sector alone accounted for more than 58% of the trading volume.
A total of 108,622 exchange traded funds (Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored QATR and Doha Bank-sponsored QETF) valued at QR950,258 changed hands across 21 deals; while in the debt market, there was no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.
The Total Return Index was down 0.17% to 19,592.79 points, the All Share Index by 0.25% to 3,132.61 points and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.18% to 2,316.63 points.
The telecom sector index tanked 1.55%, insurance (1.4%), banks and financial services (0.32%), real estate (0.15%) and consumer goods and services (0.12%); whereas industrials and transport gained 0.17% and 0.12% respectively.
Major losers included Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Widam Food, Ooredoo, Al Khaleej Takaful, United Development Company, Al Khaliji, Medicare Group, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding and Qamco; even as Qatar National Cement, Investment Holding Group, Aamal Company, Qatar Oman Investment, Mannai Corporation, Alijarah Holding, Baladna, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing and Milaha were among the gainers.
Gulf individuals turned net sellers to the tune of QR3.4mn compared with net buyers of QR1.59mn on March 3.
Local retail investors’ net buying declined substantially to QR7.64mn against QR28.55mn the previous day.
Gulf institutions’ net buying weakened notably to QR0.51mn compared to QR13.29mn on Wednesday.
However, domestic funds were net buyers to the extent of QR34.61mn against net buyers of QR9.83mn on March 3.
Arab individuals turned net buyers to the tune of QR2.84mn compared with net sellers of QR1.54mn the previous day.
Arab institutions’ net buying strengthened marginally to QR0.48mn against QR0.4mn on Wednesday.
Foreign funds’ net profit booking eased perceptibly to QR41.92mn compared to QR49.44mn on March 3.
Foreign individuals’ net selling weakened noticeably to QR0.79mn against QR2.71mn the previous day.
Total trade volume rose 11% to 216.4mn shares, value by 12% to QR465.75mn and transactions by 3% to 11,635.
The industrials sector’s trade volume soared 29% to 124.82mn equities, value by 5% to QR133.96mn and deals by 8% to 3,145.
The telecom sector reported a 13% surge in trade volume to 5.3mn stocks, 17% in value to QR29.47mn and 24% in transactions to 1,222.
The realty sector’s trade volume shot up 9% to 21.7mn shares and value by 20% to QR43.72mn, while deals shrank 13% to 1,011.
However, the market witnessed a 49% plunge in the transport sector’s trade volume to 4.44mn equities, 47% in value to QR17.24mn and 16% in transactions to 587.
The insurance sector’s trade volume plummeted 39% to 5.96mn stocks, value by 42% to QR19.22mn and deals by 46% to 469.
There was a 4% shrinkage in the consumer goods and services sector’s trade volume to 22.01mn shares, value by 24% to QR58.32mn and 12% in transactions to 1,437.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume was down less than 1% to 32.16mn equities, 18% in value to QR163.82mn and less than 1% in deals to 3,764.