MSM continues downtrend

By: Samuel Kutty

MUSCAT: Along with its global and regional peers, the Muscat Securities Market continued its downtrend for the consecutive eighth day when the bourse closed trading on Thursday. The bench mark MSM 30 Index 6,399.76 points amid range bound and stock specific activity while the Sharia Index increased by 0.05 per cent to close at 990.70 points. “Uncertainty and lack of clarity about oil and its recovery have been affecting the market negatively”, said Suresh Kumar, Research Head at Al Maha Financial Services.

In the global markets, too, stocks ended in the red as oil prices on the US took another tumble and fell below $46 a barrel after data showed supply levels continue to rise. Most analysts expect weak sentiment to continue in the regional and local markets. On Thursday a total of 15.491 million shares were traded amounting to aggregate turnover of RO 5.319 million on the Muscat Securities Market.

Oman investors were net buyers to an extent of RO 958,000, while foreign and GCC investors emerged as net sellers to an extent of RO 661,000 and RO 326,000 respectively. MSM30 Index Market Capitalisation at the end of the day stood at RO 6.913 billion. Al Anwar Holding was the most active in terms of volume as well as turnover. The top gainer of the day was Gulf Stones, up by 9.09 per cent, while Al Sharqia Investment, down by 2.29 per cent, was the top loser of the day.

The Financial Index Financial Index stemmed its losses and closed at 7,869.86 points, gaining 4 points, while the Industry Index and Service Index declined by 10 points 3 points, respectively. “The market is keenly waiting for the first quarter results. The dividend adjustments will also have its reflection on the local bourse”, said Suresh. The Qatar Exchange index dropped 58.76 points or 0.48 per cent, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index ended 0.36 per cent lower at 4,483.54. The main Saudi index edged up 0.3 per cent to 9,691 points, rising above major technical resistance on its 200-day average of 9,662 points. Saudi Basic Industries was the main support, gaining 1.3 per cent.

Real estate developer Dar Al Arkan was one of the most traded stocks and climbed 0.4 per cent after the kingdom’s housing minister was relieved of his position, which investors may interpret as a push to speed up the state’s housing construction programme. Egypt’s market rallied from a week-low to climb 0.7 per cent to 9,641 points as blue chips provided support, while in Kuwait, the index slipped 0.1 percent to 6,514 points. Egypt’s Orascom Construction dropped 4.0 per cent to $12.50, well below its initial public offer price of $14.25, extending a sell-off which according to some market players may be driven by Egyptian investors looking for hard currency.

SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER

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