Muscat – The Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX) continued its winning streak for the third consecutive month during August. The MSX 30 Index witnessed a marginal gain of 0.5% during August 2023, closing the month at 4,799.0 points, recording its third consecutive monthly gain.
However, the MSX30 Index on Sunday dropped by 0.51% to close at 4774.54 points.
Four out of seven stock exchanges in the GCC reported declines during August. However, the MSX emerged as the second-best performing market after the Dubai Financial Market, which recorded a 0.6% gain during August, according to a report issued by Kuwait-based Kamco Investment.
In terms of sectoral performance, only one out of the three sector indices on the Omani exchange recorded a gain during August.
The Financial Index recorded the only monthly gain among the indices, registering a 0.1% increase during the month, mainly driven by the share price growth of a bulk of the companies in the sector, such as Al Madina Investment Holding (up 7.3%), Bank Nizwa (up 5.3%), and Oman Arab Bank (up 3.6%). The monthly gain of these heavyweight companies lifted the sector index as well as the general index into the green.
In comparison, the Industrial Index registered a 1.7% monthly fall during August, while the Services Index witnessed a 0.6% dip during the month.
In terms of company performance, Oman Chromite topped the gainers list with a share price gain of 14.4%, followed by Renaissance Services and Takaful Oman Insurance with 10.5% and 10.0% monthly share gains, respectively. On the decliner’s side, Dhofar Insurance led the league with a 15.5% share price fall, followed by Ahlibank and Al Anwar Ceramic Tiles, which witnessed a share price drop of 12.5% and 11.8%, respectively.
Trading activity on the MSX was mixed during the month, in line with most of the markets in the GCC. The total volume of shares traded on the exchange declined by 6.0% to 217.2mn shares, compared to 231mn in July. On the other hand, the total value traded on the MSX increased by 15.1% to RO55.3mn against RO48mn.
Omantel topped the monthly value traded chart with trades at RO14.8mn, followed by Bank Muscat and Ooredoo Oman, with a total value traded at RO12.9mn and RO7.8mn, respectively.
GCC markets decline
GCC equity markets witnessed their first decline in three months, taking cues from the worst monthly performance in global equity markets this year.
Despite a second-half recovery, the MSCI World index was down 3.6% during August after a hawkish US Fed led to fears of higher, longer rates. Weak data coming from China also affected sentiments across the board, exacerbated by the probability of a continued rate hike by the ECB in September.
According to Kamco Investment, the MSCI GCC Index witnessed a slightly steeper decline of 3.8% during the month, led by a fall in four out of seven exchanges, including in Saudi Arabia.
Qatar was the worst-performing market in the GCC during August, with a slide of 7%, led by a decline in almost all indices on the exchange. Kuwait and Bahrain followed with declines of 3.4% and 2.0%, while the Saudi index was down by 1.7%.
‘The decline in most GCC markets came despite oil seeing gains for the third consecutive month on supply cuts and steady demand data,’ Kamco Investment said.