MSX index declines in weekly trading

Business Saturday 24/February/2024 18:07 PM
By: Times News Service
MSX index declines in weekly trading

Muscat: The Omani stock market experienced a decline this week, with the main index sliding by 1.27 percent, and continued to see strong volatility, according to an analyst.

“The outlook remained bearish, as the market struggled to overcome the resistance level last reached in January of this year and remains below its previous peaks, amid ongoing uncertainties,” said George Khoury, Global Head of Education and Research at CFI.

Other stock markets in the region presented a mixed picture this week with UAE markets closing in the negative territory and Qatari and Saudi markets ending on the upside. Geopolitical tensions remained a source of concern and affected investor sentiment and certain industries, particularly those related to energy, despite a generally positive earnings season in the region that supported market performance and prospects, he added.

Sector-wise, performances were mixed but leaned towards the negative. The financial sector concluded the week down by 2.17 percent. Within this sector, Sohar International Bank and Bank Muscat saw declines of 1.80 percent and 1.85 percent, respectively, while the National Bank of Oman faced a drop of 5.93 percent. Al Anwar Investment also recorded a decrease of 2.78 percent. However, Oman United Insurance reported a noteworthy increase in annual net profit by approximately 12 percent, closing the week with a marginal gain of 0.38 percent, amidst a week of fluctuating stock prices.

The industrial sector also reported a downturn, led by Al Anwar Ceramic, which fell by 5.24 percent, partially reversing gains from the previous week. Other declines included Galfar Engineering and Contracting and Oman Cables Industry, with drops of 3.23 percent and 6.67 percent, respectively.

Conversely, the services sector showcased a robust performance, increasing by 2.02 percent and leading in trading activity for the week. Notably, Al Suwadi Power surged by 41.03 percent, continuing its impressive rally over the past four weeks, and was among the top five most traded stocks. Similarly, Al Batinah Power experienced a significant jump of 54.76 percent. Al Maha Petroleum Products Marketing also saw an increase of 3.77 percent following its announcement of a 90 percent dividend distribution based on the 2023 results.