Middle East tension sets ASE on downward trend
The General Price Index of the Amman Stock Exchange slipped at the end of Sunday's trading following the decline in share prices of two major blue chips, a bourse broker said.
The ASE's daily bulletin showed that the price index dropped 1.14 points, down from 132.56 at the end of last week's trading to 131.42 points.
The broker said that the Arab Bank, the bourse's major blue chip, recorded a JD2 decline in its share price. Its share dropped to JD150.
The Arab Potash Company's share price closed at JD2.93 compared to JD3 at the end of last week.
Investors are also keeping their eye on the upcoming summit in Sharm El Sheikh to end recent confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli army.
“The market is awaiting Monday's summit to see what is going to happen in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” the broker told the Jordan Times.
He was referring to the summit that is scheduled to group His Majesty King Abdullah, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, US President Bill Clinton and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
The summit is expected to discuss ways and means to end the two weeks of violence in the Palestinian territories, triggered by a visit by right wing leader, Ariel Sharon, to the Haram Al Sharif compound in Jerusalem.
The confrontation between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli army left more than 100 killed and over 3,000 injured.
The confrontations reflected negatively on the stock market, which witnessed a trend of decline in the past few days.
“I think investors will keep their eyes open to see if this summit will end the confrontations or not,” the broker, who asked not to be named, said.
“If not, I think ASE will record further declines,” he added. — (Jordan Times)
By Tareq Ayyoub
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)