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Doha: Qatar Exchange pursued its upswing trend yesterday, adding 35.21 points or 0.41 percent to advance to 8,558.12 points from 8,522.91 on Monday.
The volume of the shares traded up to 6,314,520 from 4,434,197 on Monday and the value of shares increased to QR281,220,723.48 from QR206,184,179.04 on Monday.
Among the top gainers were Qatar National Bank which was up 0.44 percent to QR135.80, Industries Qatar rose 1.91 percent to QR149.30, Qatar Insurance gained 2.50 percent to QR69.70 and Electricity and Water up by 1.11 percent to QR136.50.
The Banking and Financial sector index up 6.05 points while Consumer Goods and Services sector index lost 10.54 points. The industrial sector gained 30.92 points while insurance sector added 26.03 points.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s bourse dropped to a three-week low yesterday after a protest rally against possible changes to the country’s election law that prompted an investor sell-off, while most other Gulf markets closed higher.
Kuwait’s index fell 0.9 percent to its lowest level since September 25.
At least five people were arrested and several were hurt in skirmishes at the rally late on Monday, attended by at least 5,000 people, calling on the emir to set a date for upcoming parliamentary elections. Protesters also voiced concern that Kuwait may change its electoral law in a way that would favour pro-government candidates.
“All this negative sentiment is spilling over to the market — there is a lot of retail selling and high net worth individuals are sitting out,” said a Kuwait-based trader who asked not to be identified.
“The market just started to gain some momentum and something like this (protests) is, turns it all around. We’re likely to see a couple more days of this selling.”
Stocks were lower across sectors. Large-caps, National Bank of Kuwait slipped one percent and telecom Zain declined 1.4 percent.
In Saudi Arabia, troubled telecom operator Zain Saudi fell 4.4 percent to 8.7 riyals, nearing Saturday’s record low of 8.3 riyals after the firm posted a widening third-quarter net loss.
The firm also said it was in advanced talks with banks to refinance a SR9bn Shariah-compliant loan and expects to sign the new deal in the fourth quarter.
“Although we believe that the financial outlook for Zain KSA has improved after its balance sheet restructuring (mainly through lower financing charges), its operational outlook has deteriorated,” NCB Capital said in a research note. “Zain faces a difficult road towards recording net profits,” it added.
Shares in dairy and food producer Almarai Co rose 2.2 percent at 69.75 riyals, having surged to SR71.50 intra-day in heavy trading.
The firm posted a 4.7 percent rise in quarterly net profit on Monday but fell short of analysts’ forecasts.
“Surprisingly, Almarai’s share price has been resilient — part of this is because no matter what happens to the economy, people will still consume food products,” said Asim Bukhtiar, head of research at Riyad Capital.
The food and agriculture sector’s index gained 1.4 percent and insurance stocks climbed 1.6 percent.
Investors largely shun large-cap stocks of banks and petrochemicals after disappointing earnings.
Samba Financial Group declined 0.9 percent, Saudi Arabian Fertilizers slipped 0.8 percent while Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic) added 0.6 percent.
The kingdom’s index rose 0.4 percent, up for a second session since Sunday’s 11-week low.
“You’re seeing a bit of recovery in the market now that most of the bad news is out. People are still waiting for Sabic’s numbers and digesting what the numbers mean for Q4,” Bukhtiar said.
In the UAE, Dubai’s index rallied to a 24-week closing high and the bourse’s own stock also gained, supported by upbeat sentiment in anticipation of quarterly earnings.
The emirate’s index climbed 0.6 percent to its highest close since April 26. Shares in Dubai Financial Market , the Gulf’s only listed-exchange, rose 0.9 percent.