An across the board selling – particularly within insurance, banks, consumer goods and telecom sectors – Wednesday dragged the Qatar Stock Exchange below 9,600 levels.
Foreign institutions were increasingly into profit booking as the 20-stock Qatar Index settled 1.6% or 156 points at 9,548.22 points, although it touched a low of 9,543 points 30 minutes before the closing.
The substantially weakened net buying of domestic funds also had its role in dampening the market, which is down 8.41% year-to-date.
Market capitalisation saw more than QR9bn or 1.74% erosion to QR527.63bn mainly owing to large and midcap segments.
Islamic stocks were seen declining slower than the other indices in the bourse, where local retail investors were increasingly bullish.
Trade turnover and volumes were on the decline in the bourse, where realty, banking and industrials sectors together accounted for more than 81% of the total trading volume.
The Total Return Index shed 1.39% to 17,777.71 points, All Share Index by 1.59% to 2,875.87 points and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.18% to 2,053.73 points.
The insurance index tanked 1.91%, banks and financial services (1.85%), consumer goods (1.7%), telecom (1.7%), transport (1.28%), industrials (0.92%) and real estate (0.4%).
More than 76% of the traded constituents were in the red with major losers being QNB, Qatar First Bank, Alijarah Holding, Qatar Electricity and Water, Ahlibank Qatar, Qatar National Cement, Gulf International Services, Qatar Aluminium, Mazaya Qatar, Ezdan, Vodafone Qatar, Ooredoo and Milaha; even as Commercial Bank, Dlala and Aamal Company were among the gainers.
Non-Qatari funds’ net profit booking increased substantially to QR58.13mn compared to QR35.26mn on February 25.
Domestic institutions’ net buying weakened considerably to QR38.58mn against QR54.87mn the previous day.
However, local retail investors’ net buying shot up significantly to QR24.39mn compared to QR5.27mn on Tuesday.
Non-Qatari individuals turned net buyers to the tune of QR3.2mn against net sellers of QR3.36mn on February 25.
The Gulf individuals were also net buyers to the extent of QR1.07mn compared with net sellers of QR0.41mn the previous day.
The Gulf institutions’ net profit booking fell noticeably to QR9.16mn against QR21.13mn on Tuesday.
Total trade volumes fell 32% to 69.72mn shares and value by 27% to QR231.87mn, while transactions were up 1% to 9,183.
The transport sector’s trade volume plummeted 72% to 0.98mn equities, value by 61% to QR3.59mn and deals by 52% to 160.
The consumer goods sector reported 60% plunge in trade volume to 3.29mn stocks, 71% in value to QR10.35mn and 50% in transactions to 415.
The insurance sector’s trade volume tanked 57% to 1.8mn shares, value by 59% to QR4.98mn and deals by 23% to 256.
There was 31% shrinkage in the real estate sector’s trade volume to 24.47mn equities, 30% in value to QR21.83mn and 22% in transactions to 926.
The industrials sector’s trade volume shrank 28% to 15.3mn stocks, value by 24% to QR38.27mn and deals by 23% to 1,506.
The telecom sector saw 22% contraction in trade volume to 6.88mn shares and value by 16% to QR25.18mn, whereas transactions rose 60% to 2,262.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume was down 20% to 17mn equities and value by 15% to QR127.66mn, while deals grew 19% to 3,658.
In the debt market, there was no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.