(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Qatar Exchange index ended in the red area when trading closed yesterday at 11,690.49 points, down 33.71 points or 0.29 percent, from the previous closing of 11,724.20 points on Monday.
The volume of shares fell to 14,023,380 from Monday's 16,013,457 and the value of shares decreased to QR611,438,127.91 from QR1,131,203,414.65 on Monday. Among the top losers were Qatar Islamic Bank, whose shares were down 1.58 percent to QR80.90, Ooredoo lost 0.99 percent to QR150.60, while Vodafone Qatar fell 1.12 percent to QR12.39 and Doha Insurance lost 9.97 percent to QR27.55.
The banking and financial sector index lost 0.37 percent points, while consumer goods and services sector index added 0.24 percent. The industrial sector dropped 0.08 percent, while insurance sector was up 0.91 percent.
Elsewhere, Egypt's bourse surged to a five-year high after a local newspaper reported that discussions over a new presidential election law would begin today, while Dubai's shares fell in profit-taking after mixed earnings reports.
"People are excited about the elections, they are building positions in anticipation of presidential election law," said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities in Cairo.
Cairo's benchmark index rose 1.9 percent to 7,721 points, its highest level since September 2008. It broke above the April 2010 intraday peak of 7,693 points but will need a weekly close above the level to confirm a breakout from the resistance.
Dubai's index lost 1.1 percent, slipping off Monday's five-year high. Shares in Air Arabia tumbled 4.8 percent to a two-week low after the budget carrier posted a profit of Dh94m, which came in slightly below estimates. It also proposed a 7.25 percent cash dividend that's only marginally above the previous year's 7 percent dividend. "The overall market has had a nice run but fundamentally, it's becoming overstretched. Fresh money won't come in if valuations are high," said Ali Adou, portfolio manager at The National Investor.
Analysts and investors have been calling for a correction on Dubai's market with heavy retail activity spurring small-cap stocks in speculative buying.
Saudi Arabia's index climbed 0.2 percent. Banking shares supported gains with the sector's index up 0.3 percent.