DOHA: The index of Qatar Exchange yesterday slipped into the red losing 44.56 points or 0.52 percent to close at 8,528.19 points on the first trading day of the week.
The QE’s all the seven sector indices closed in the red, the transportation index losing mostly 0.72 percent. The market breadth was weak with 29 companies recording decline. Seven companies advanced and one remained unchanged. The total traded companies were 37.
Most of the heavyweight stocks tumbled. Following the yesterday’s negative trend, Doha Insurance lost 4.78 percent and topped the losers’ chart. Doha bank lost 2.59 percent.QE’s bellwether stock Qatar Fuel lost 0.11 percent. QNB lost 0.45 percent. Qatar Meat and Livestock Company tumbled 0.59 percent.
Qatar German Company for Medical Devices (QGMD) was the significant performer; surging 7.7 percent. Islamic Holding added1.88 percent. Gulf Warehousing Company gained 1.57 percent.
The banking and financial sector index dropped 10.47 points, the insurance sector lost 5.12 points, the industrial sector was down 7.29 points and the services sector fell 0.32 points.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s bourse declined for a second session as investors booked gains in petrochemical stocks, while Kuwait’s bourse closed at a fresh three-week high on hopes of economic and political improvement.
Shares in Saudi’s National Petrochemical Co dropped 9.9 percent after the firm said it shut down its Saudi Polymer project temporarily due to technical issues.
Investors booked profits in other petrochemical firms too, with heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries losing 0.6 percent and Advanced Petrochemicals dropping 1 percent. The petrochemical index lost 0.8 percent.
Banking stocks also weighed on the bourse with Al Rajhi Bank slipping 0.4 percent and Saudi Hollandi Bank losing 1.8 percent.
Saudi’s index dropped 0.5 percent ending at a 5-week low. This was the benchmark’s lowest close since October 6.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s index advanced to a fresh 3-week high. Kuwait Finance House and Ahli United Bank each advanced 1.3 percent and developer Mabanee Co jumped 5.1 percent.
Kuwait’s Emir H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah said last week he would deal with political problems and revive the economy, which could also mean stalled development projects will be revived.
“On a scale of one to 10 in terms of (government-owned) national portfolio activity I would say it’s still at a two or maybe three,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House. The index gained 0.2 percent to its highest close since October 18.
Elsewhere, Dubai’s index closed 0.2 percent lower and Abu Dhabi’s benchmark slipped 0.1 percent.
“Investors believe that there is good value in the UAE equities at the moment and they are holding their shares until they rally,” said Nabil Al Rantisi, managing director at Menacorp in Abu Dhabi. “Institutional buying has been net positive... new buyers are waiting for a catalyst.”
Banks in Abu Dhabi decline, with National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank falling 2.4 and 1.2 percent respectively. Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate each rose 1.6 percent, both closing at 1.3 dirhams per share.