Doha: Qatar Exchange index lost 29.71 points, or 0.31 percent to hit 9,693.93 points yesterday from the previous closing of 9,723.64 points.
The volume of traded shares was down to 8,792,964 from 6,009,280 on Tuesday and the value of shares decreased to QR326,815,378.89 from QR 293,275,183.07 yesterday.
Among the top losers were Qatar National Bank whose share dropped 1.99 percent to QR162.80, Salam International lost 0.81 percent to QR12.30, United Development Company fell 0.55 percent to QR21.85 and Doha Bank was down by 1.09 percent to QR 54.40.
The Banking and Financial sector index lost 0.94 percent while Consumer Goods and Services sector index dropped 0.19 percent. The industrial sector was gained 0.12 percent while insurance sector added 1.64 percent
Meanwhile, other regional markets were muted yesterday with profit-taking weighing on some bourses following strong early-week gains and dim global backdrop adding pressure as investors await cues from earnings.
Saudi Arabia’s Jarir Marketing jumped 6.4 percent to an all-time high after the firm’s board recommended a total dividend payout of SR150m ($40m) for the third quarter and one bonus share for every two held.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark edged up 0.09 percent to a fresh two-month high; gains in retail shares were offset by profit-taking in petrochemical and banking shares.
Elsewhere, Cairo’s benchmark index retreated 0.6 percent, snapping a six-session winning streak. It dipped from a 33-month high hit in the previous session after the government announced plans to increase spending in an economic stimulus package by a third to 29.6bn Egyptian pounds ($4.3bn).
“The market has been strong this week and some weakness late on Tuesday triggered profit-taking,” said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities.
Shares in Arab Cotton Ginning and Telecom Egypt dropped 1.2 and 3.5 percent respectively.
In Kuwait, the bourse gained 0.4 percent to 7,906 points, its second gain in four sessions and approaching the key 8,000 level.
“Liquidity is coming back in the market and while people are usually reluctant when they are waiting for corporate reportings, the turnover numbers are an encouraging indicator,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage services at Global Investment. “Liquidity is what is going to take us above the 8,000 psychological barrier.
“Earnings are expected to be better and will set the pace for the following quarters.”
Trading, however, was focused on mid-caps. Warba Bank , which listed on September 3, gained 2.8 percent to its highest level since September 11. Gulf Finance House fell 1.1 percent.
In the United Arab Emirates, Dubai’s index retreated 0.8 percent to 2,902 points, easing off a five-year high in its second decline in last seven sessions.
The index faced resistance near the psychologically important level of 3,000 points. Small-caps led declines with Gulf Navigation and Union Properties each shedding 0.4 percent.
Ali Adou, portfolio manager at The National Investor, said the market was due for a correction following the recent bet on Dubai winning the bid to host the World Expo 2020. “The expo is already priced in. Lately, many investors have been speculating on small cap real estate names.”