Muscat: Late buying activity by institutions lifted the MSM30 Index to 5,776.17 points, up by 0.43 per cent. The MSM Sharia Index gained 0.46 per cent to close at 857.33 points. Bank Nizwa was the most active in terms of volume, while Ooredoo led in terms of turnover. Al Hassan Engineering, up by 6.12 per cent was the top gainer while Al Izz Bank was the top loser, down by 2.94 per cent.
As many as 690 trades were executed on Tuesday, generating a turnover of OMR2.48 million with 13.5 million shares changing hands. Out of 42 traded securities, 19 advanced, 11 declined and 12 remained unchanged. Omani investors remained net buyers of OMR187,000 followed by GCC and Arab investors of OMR24,000 while foreign investors were net sellers of OMR211,000 worth of shares.
Financial Index closed at 7,947.80 points, up by 0.30 per cent. Muscat Finance, HSBC Bank Oman, Bank Dhofar, Ahli Bank and Bank Nizwa gained 2.31 per cent, 1.64 per cent, 1.56 per cent, 1.55 per cent and 1.16 per cent, respectively. Al Izz Bank, Al Sharqia Investment, Gulf Investment Services, Al Madina Investment and Taageer Finance declined by 2.94 per cent, 2.14 per cent, 1.71 per cent, 1.61 per cent and 1.49 per cent, respectively.
Industrial Index advanced 0.66 per cent to finish at 7,590.74 points. Al Hassan Engineering, Oman Flour Mills, Raysut Cement, Al Anwar Ceramics and Oman Fisheries declined by 6.12 per cent, 2.56 per cent, 2.43 per cent, 1.30 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively. Galfar Engineering, down by 1.18 per cent, was the only loser.
Services Index closed at 3,023.02 points, up by 0.18 per cent. Renaissance Services, Port Services, Ooredoo Oman and Oman Telecommunications Company gained 2.33 per cent, 1.20 per cent, 0.65 per cent and 0.35 per cent respectively. National Gas declined by 1.79 per cent to close at OMR0.550.
Indian shares decline
A sense of anxiety prevailed in the market as the Sensex on Tuesday slumped 194 points ahead of the budget — to be presented on Wednesday — to a one-week low of 27,656 and the Nifty slipped below 8,600 after the Economic Survey projected a lower growth of 6.5 per cent for 2016-17.
The recently introduced immigration restrictions by US President Donald trump and the new legislation that aims to rework the H1-B visa programme dealt a blow to IT stocks, which saw a huge fall.
TCS, Wipro and Infosys came off by up to 4.47 per cent, dragging down the BSE IT index by 2.96 per cent, followed by technology that slumped 2.49 per cent.
The Economic Survey for 2016-17, tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday, pegged the growth for this fiscal at 6.5 per cent, lower than 7.1 per cent put out by the Central Statistics Office earlier this month.
The Sensex closed down 193.60 points, or 0.70 per cent, at 27,655.96 — its lowest closing since January 24 when it settled at 27,375.58. It had lost 33 points in the previous session.
The broad-based NSE Nifty, which hit a low of 8,552.40 intra-day, managed to cut down losses and ended lower by 71.45 points, or 0.83 per cent, at 8,561.30.
"The Economic Survey has given a cautious outlook for 2017-18 GDP growth, considering the risk of demonetisation, subdued credit growth, rise in commodity prices and weaker external environment," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
"IT stocks were the laggards today due to the policy effect on US H1B visa norms."
The risk-averse behaviour was on display as participants took cues from global stocks that remained on the backfoot following Trump's controversial crackdown on immigration.
GAIL, Adani Ports, Sun Pharma, Tata Motors, Coal India, Lupin, Axis Bank and NTPC were among those that weighed on the benchmark indices.
Counters of oil and gas, PSU, healthcare, infrastructure and metal all turned weak, falling up to 1.64 per cent.
Selling activity extended to the broader markets, with the BSE mid-cap retreating 1.10 per cent and the small-cap 1.03 per cent.
There were a few that went up that cushioned the fall, which include ITC, PowerGrid, Bajaj Auto, ONGC and HDFC Bank.
In Asia, most markets were closed on Tuesday for a holiday. Japan's Nikkei ended lower by 1.69 per cent.
European shares, however, were trading higher as major indices in France, Germany and the UK moved up.