(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Exchange edged up 2.22 points or 0.03 percent to 8,491.32 points yesterday from the previous closing of 8,489.10. Nakilat was up 0.56 percent to QR16.20, Aamal lost 0.60 percent to QR16.45, Masraf Al Rayan increased 0.19 percent to QR26.80 and Vodafone Qatar lost by 0.22 percent to QR8.98. The banking and financial sector was up 4.28 points, the industrial sector gained 2.77 points, while the services sector was down 13.97 points.
Meanwhile, Egypt's bourse extended declines yesterday as investors cut risk ahead of a presidential election that is unlikely to clear up an uncertain economic outlook, while Saudi shares recovered from a 13-week low on bargain-hunting. Egypt's main index fell 1.1 percent, declining for a second day after hitting a seven-week high on Sunday.
The vote, billed as the last step in a transition from military to civilian rule, will give Egypt its first head of state since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in an uprising last year. But the country still lacks a new constitution that will define his powers and those of the influential military and the country's assertive, Islamist-dominated parliament. That could prolong many months of policy inertia that have hampered attempts to revive the economy and attract foreign aid.
"Lots of people don't want to take the risk of holding stock during the vote and they don't think there is much potential reward for holding positions," said a Cairo-based trader. Among the most heavily traded stocks, Commercial International Bank slipped 0.7 percent and Orascom Construction shed 1.5 percent. Developer Palm Hills fell 4 percent despite shrinking its first-quarter net loss.
In Saudi Arabia, the index gained 0.5 percent to 7,104 points, trimming May losses to 6 percent.
Gulf bourses were hit in recent sessions as uncertainty over Greece's possible exit from the euro weighed on sentiment. "Saudi is in a good place with 7,000 as a key psychological level," said Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management.
In Dubai, the index snapped a five-session losing streak. Emaar Properties gained 1.7 percent, outperforming the index, which advanced 0.3 percent Contractor Arabtec climbed 0.3 percent and Dubai Financial Market gained 0.1 percent. Abu Dhabi's bourse ended flat. Oman's index slumped 1.2 percent to its lowest close since February 6. Renaissance Services fell 9.7 percent.