(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The Qatar Exchange opened the week on a stronger note as its key index surged 1.02% to cross the 8,700 mark.
Strong buying by foreign institutions, driven by attractive valuations, helped the 20-stock benchmark settle 88 points as the index gained for the eighth consecutive day to close at 8,724.09 points.
The market is however down 0.56% year-to-date.
About 62% of the stocks extended gains to investors with main gainers being QNB, Commercialbank, Industries Qatar, Nakilat and Barwa.
The insurance sector witnessed the maximum buying interest as its group index vaulted 2.16%, followed by banks (1.02%), services (0.98%) and industry (0.86%).
Market capitalisation gained 0.90% or more than QR4bn to QR450.31bn with mid, small and large cap equities rising 1.03%, 0.91% and 0.89% respectively.
Of the 42 stocks, 25 advanced, while only 12 declined, two were unchanged and three not traded.
Foreign institutions turned bullish as they were net buyers to the tune of 11.46% compared with net sellers of 0.95% the previous trading day.
A much higher 31.65% of them were into buying against 18.28% last Thursday although a marginally higher 20.19% of them into selling compared to 19.23%.
Domestic institutions' bullish grip considerably eased as their net buying sunk to 0.89% from 18.12% the previous day.
A much lower 22.61% of them bought equities compared to 32.25% last Thursday and a higher 21.72% offloaded against 14.13%.
Qatari individual investors continued to be profit-takers but with lesser intensity as their net selling shrank to 11.60% from 15.37% the previous day.
A lower 35.52% of them purchased equities compared to 39.04% last Thursday and a lower 47.12% sold against 54.41%.
Non-Qatari retail investors' bearish grip eased as their net selling fell to 0.74% from 1.80% the previous day.
A marginally lower 10.23% of them were into buying against 10.43% last Thursday and a lower 10.97% were into offloading compared to 12.23%.
Total trading volumes rose 30% to 8.51mn equities, value by 34% to QR307.06mn and deals by 31% to 4,004.
The services sector's trading volume shot up 88% to 3mn shares, value by 96% to QR79.27mn and transactions by 47% to 1,482.
The industrial sector's trading volume soared 35% to 1.19mn shares, value by 62% to QR62.06mn and deals by 3% to 569.
The banking sector's trading volume was up 7% to 4.28mn shares, value by 11% to QR163.44mn and transactions by 32% to 1,900.
However, the insurance sector's trading volume plunged 40% to 0.03mn shares, value by 24% to QR2.30mn and deals by 15% to 53.
Actively traded stocks (in terms of volume) were Masraf Al Rayan (3.13mn shares); Barwa (838,438); United Development Company (705,968); Nakilat (666,382) and National Leasing (434,395).