Qatar Exchange index loses 54.08 points

May 21, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

Doha: Qatar Exchange index  lost 54.08 points, or 0.42 percent to close at 12,734.15 points yesterday from the previous closing of 12,788.23 on Monday.

The volume of shares was up to 21,957,578 from Monday 21,221,373 and the value of shares increased to QR961,439,030.31 from QR947,162,141.89 on Monday.

Among the top losers were Industries Qatar whose share was down 1.10 percent to QR179.00 while Commercial Bank of Qatar lost 1.62 percent to QR67.Vodafone Qatar fell 0.77 percent to QR18.05 and Electricity and Water decreased by 1.64 percent to QR180.

Meanwhile, Dubai’s index tumbled to a six-week low yesterday as investors booked profits from a near 18-month bull run, while Saudi Arabia’s bourse was again lacklustre and is seen stuck in the doldrums until July’s results season.

Dubai’s benchmark dropped 4.1 percent to 4,656 points, its lowest finish since April 7.

It fell 5.5 percent the day before and rebounded in early yesterday trade, but buying pressure was brief and it has fallen 12.6 percent in a week, trimming 2014 gains to 38.2 percent.

“A revaluation of the market has been happening for the past week — the fundamentals haven’t changed, it’s pure profit-taking by speculators,” said Samer Al Jaouni, a Gulf-based trader.

Dubai’s measure is up 187 percent since the start of 2013 as renewed confidence in Dubai’s property sector and a retail and tourism boom brought traders back to the emirate’s beleaguered stock market.

But analysts had warned that such a surge was unsustainable, even with index compiler MSCI upgrading the United Arab Emirates to emerging market status, effective June 1. “A lot of the earlier buying was by speculators ahead of MSCI,” said Jaouni.

He said high valuations were likely to deter foreign funds that track MSCI’s emerging index from buying UAE stocks immediately after the upgrade comes into effect.

“We might see a further downside to levels where prices can be justified,” said Jaouni, adding this would likely be around 4,200 to 4,300 points. “Investors will be much pickier — volatility will remain high and we’ll still see some speculation, but it will be much less than before and volumes may decline dramatically in the coming months.”

Most of yesterday’s activity was aimed at property-related stocks, which are a favourite target for day-traders.

Builder Arabtec fell 8.6 percent, Emaar Properties dropped 3.7 percent and Union Properties lost 2.8 percent.

Abu Dhabi fell 2.5 percent to a two-month low of 4,750 points. It is up 10.7 percent in 2014.

Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia’s index rose 0.07 percent to 9,731 points, but is down one percent from Wednesday’s six-year high, having failed to break above 9,830 points.

“It gives the possibility for new cash to come into the market,” said Hesham Tuffaha, a Riyadh-based portfolio manager.

“When there’s a continuous rally, there’s usually money on the sidelines waiting for a correction.”

He said Saudi’s stuttering performance in the past week was due to a glut of local share sales in the offing. These include floatations from National Commercial Bank, the kingdom’s largest lender, and hotel and leisure group Abdul Mohsen Al Hokair.