Doha: Qatar Exchange was down yesterday by 49.32 points or 0.51 percent to 9,618.26 points from the previous closing of 9,667.58. Among the top losers were Qatar National Bank whose share dropped 0.95 percent to QR167.30, International Islamic lost 0.88 percent to QR56, Qatar Electricity and Water fell 1.19 percent to QR158 and Qatar Navigation was down by 1.75 percent to QR78.60.
The banking and financial sector index dropped 0.50 points, the consumer goods and services sector index lost 0.04 points, the industrial sector was down 0.48 points while the insurance sector fell 1.86 points.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s bourse retreated yesterday amid a wider regional decline as worries over an army crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood worsened an already weak sentiment on geo-political risks from a potential military strike against Syria.
Regional markets recovered some lost ground after US President Barack Obama delayed an imminent military strike against Syria, saying he will seek congressional consent. Short-term profit-taking however, dragged prices back down. A strike, if approved, is not expected before mid-September.
“Although short-term pressure has faded for another week or so until there is a resolution from Congress, Egypt is correlated to regional volatility and price swings,” said Islam Batrawy, deputy director of sales trading at Egypt’s Naeem Brokerage.
In Egypt, army-backed authorities referred deposed president Mohammed Mursi to trial on Sunday on charges of inciting murder and violence. Yesterday, a judicial panel advised a court to dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood as a legally registered non-governmental organisation. “Locally, the Mursi trial news is adding to the cautious sentiment,” Batrawy added.
Cairo’s market is down 3.8 percent year-to-date, significantly underperforming its Gulf peers that are enjoying a bull-rally.
Elsewhere, Dubai bourse slipped 0.5 percent in volatile trading and snapping two sessions of gains. Shares in Drake and Scull International slipped 0.9 percent in a downbeat market. The firm said it won a Dh415m ($112.99m) contract from the main developers assigned to build a branch of France’s Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi index closed near-flat.
In Saudi Arabia, the index climbed 0.7 percent, up for a fourth straight session since it fell to a one-month low. Banking shares led gains with the sector’s index rising 1.2 percent. Heavyweight petrochemical sector added 0.7 percent.
The retail sector added 0.6 percent. Companies in the industry are enjoying robust double-digit growth buoyed by an increasing population and spending power.
Petrochemical producing firms are also seen benefiting - from higher oil prices. “If the Syrian conflict intensifies, Saudi Arabia’s market is insulated from foreign investment fluctuations and will benefit due to its proximity to oil,” Naeem’s Batrawy said. Foreigners can only trade Saudi equities via swaps. Markets in the UAE however could face an inverse reaction and a flight of foreign funds, he added.
EGYPT: The index fell 1.1 percent to 5,245 points.
SAUDI ARABIA: The index climbed 0.7 percent to 7,934 points.
DUBAI: The index slipped 0.5 percent to 2,586 points.
ABU DHABI: The index ticked up 0.04 percent to 3,804 points.
KUWAIT: The index slipped 0.4 percent to 7,596 points.
OMAN: The index eased 0.07 percent to 6,731 points.
BAHRAIN: The index edged up 0.05 percent to 1,189 points.