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Doha/dubai: Qatar Exchange index dropped 41.88 points or 0.50 percent to reach 8,358.66 points from the previous closing of 8,400.54 points.
The volume of shares traded rose to 2,553,160 from 2,074,068 on Thursday, and the value of shares increased to QR121,269,857.68 from QR107,359,586.51 on Thursday.
Among the top losers were Industries Qatar whose share dropped 0.26 percent to QR151.90, Qatar Navigation lost 1.85 percent to QR63.80, Doha Insurance fell 5.22 percent to QR28.15 and Vodafone Qatar down 1.32 percent to QR8.24.
The banking and financial sector dropped 7.97 points while the insurance sector lost 8.38 points. The industrial sector down 11.31 points and the services sector fell 56.83 points.
Egypt’s index rose yesterday, recouping some of last week’s steep losses, after fears of clashes between supporters of President Mohammed Mursi and his opponents over the weekend proved unfounded.
Middle East markets were mixed, with Saudi Arabia up for a third session since Tuesday’s 10-month low, while Kuwait gave back early gains as a post-election bounce proved short-lived.
Mursi on Saturday called a December 15 referendum on a new constitution, hoping to end protests over a decree expanding his powers, as at least 200,000 of his Islamist supporters rallied in Cairo.
Islamist groups demonstrated at Cairo University, avoiding clashes with opponents staging an open-ended sit-in at Tahrir Square, the centre of protests that ultimately forced former president Hosni Mubarak from power.
“There was an aggressive sell-off last week on expectations of bloodshed over the weekend,” said Mohamed Radwan, head of equities at Pharos Securities in Cairo. “The market is making a relief rally, also on the referendum announcement.”
Investors hope the referendum will help soothe political tensions, he added, speaking before the Supreme Constitutional Court postponed its work indefinitely after a protest by Islamists outside its headquarters.
The main index ended 1.8 percent higher after rising by as much as 2.8 percent intraday. It fell 11.6 percent last week.
Orascom Construction Industries climbed three percent, tracking gains in its London-listed global depository receipt (GDR), which rose 5.7 percent on Friday.
Commercial International Bank and Ezz Steel were other notable gainers, adding 1 and 2.8 percent respectively.
Kuwait’s index slipped 0.03 percent to 5,942 points, trimming its gains since early November’s eight-year low to 5.2 percent after hitting an intraday high of 6,004.
Kuwaitis voted in a new parliament on Saturday that may prove to be more government-friendly after the opposition refused to stand in the election. \ “We came into work today thinking the market would be positive, but we were quickly reminded that it’s still a retail-dominated, lacklustre market - investors are cautious and any trigger can send it lower,” said a Kuwait-based trader who declined to be identified.