A higher than average demand, especially in the banking and financial services sector, helped lift the sentiments in the Qatar Stock Exchange Thursday and its key index settled above 11,950 levels.
Aided by the weakened selling pressure from local retail investors and domestic funds, the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 37 points or 0.31% to 11,959.13 points, recovering from an intraday low of 11,872 points.
Foreign funds continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the market, whose year-to-date gains swelled to 2.87%.
The Gulf individuals were seen marginally bullish in the bourse, whose capitalisation grew more than QR1bn or 0.16% to QR679.59bn, mainly on the back of demand for micro and small cap segments.
The foreign individuals’ weakened net selling also had its influence in the market, where more than 59% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors.
The Arab individuals were increasingly into net profit booking in the main market, which saw a total of 49,737 exchange traded funds (Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored QATR and Doha Bank-sponsored QETF) valued at QR517,806 trade across six deals.
The Total Return Index gained 0.31% to 23,673.81points, the All Share Index by 0.17% to 3,765.12 points and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.26% to 2,647.67 points in the market, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.
The banks and financial services sector index rose 0.34%, transport (0.29%), industrials (0.07%) and real estate (0.01%); while insurance declined 0.82%, consumer goods and services (0.23%) and telecom (0.03%).
Major gainers in the main market included Mannai Corporation, QLM, Qatari German Medical Devices, Dlala, Commercial Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Salam International Investment, Baladna, Qatar Electricity and Water Company, Qamco, Mazaya Qatar and Nakilat.
Nevertheless, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Al Meera, Woqod. Qatar Industrial Manufacturing and Qatar Insurance were among the losers in the main market.
In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.
Foreign institutions' net buying decreased substantially to QR83.44mn compared to QR168.08mn on Wednesday.
The Gulf institutions’ net buying fell considerably to QR7.52mn against QR28.91mn on Wednesday.
Local retail investors' net selling shrank significantly to QR77.47mn compared to QR149.77mn the previous day.
The domestic funds’ net selling weakened drastically to QR2.31mn against QR24mn on Wednesday.
The foreign individuals’ net selling declined markedly to QR4.22mn compared to QR17.34mn on Wednesday.
The Arab individuals’ net selling increased notably to QR7.22mn against QR3.87mn the previous day.
The Gulf individuals turned net buyers to the tune of QR0.26mn compared with net sellers of QR1.99mn on Wednesday.
The Arab funds continued to have no major net exposure.
Total trade volume in the main market grew 9% to 153.06mn shares, while value fell 24% to QR422.79mn and transactions by 11% to 10,099.
The insurance sector’s trade volume almost tripled to 3.2mn equities and value also almost tripled to QR8.96mn on a 23% increase in deals to 186.
The real estate sector’s trade volume soared 46% to 31.24mn stocks, value by 38% to QR36.25mn and transactions by 13% to 980.
The consumer goods and services sector saw a 21% surge in trade volume to 30.71mn shares, value by 34% to QR60.13mn and deals by 38% to 1,645.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume shot up 11% to 39.2mn equities; whereas value shrank 39% to 170.14mn and transactions by 27% to 3,672.
However, there was a 66% plunge in the telecom sector’s volume to 1.69mn stocks, 71% in value to QR8.64mn and 63% in deals to 423.
The industrials sector’s trade volume tanked 11% to 40.11mn shares, value by 23% to QR99.92mn and transactions by 1% to 2,170.
The market witnessed a 5% contraction in the transport sector’s trade volume to 6.91mn equities and 8% in value to QR38.75mn but on 23% growth in deals to 1,023.
In the venture market, volume declined 33.66% to 94,990 stocks, value by 44.48% to QR414,498 and transactions by 36.67% to 38.