Bourse shares on Tuesday made across the board advances on heightened investor optimism of better ties with Iraq, the country's leading trading partner.
The official 60-share benchmark Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) index rose 0.39 percent to close at 132.82 points in turnover of around JD1.2 million ($1.7 million) dominated by two shares.
Dealers said a wave of optimism swept the trading floor on reports that the government planned to send a humanitarian plane to Baghdad in the next 24 hours in the first Arab flight to Iraq in 10 years.
Many Jordanian firms, which have traditionally depended on exports to Iraq, have been hurt by UN sanctions imposed on Baghdad after it invaded Kuwait in 1990.
They hope the government gesture will give a boost to bilateral ties and improve the leverage of Jordanian firms in tenders under the UN sponsored oil-for-food deal.
Trading was dominated by Arab Bank shares, currently an attractive buy for some local funds at its current low price levels, dealers said.
The market mainstay, which comprises over 40 percent of the total capitalization of the bourse, has over the last few weeks accounted for the bulk of deals.
The share, whose fluctuations heavily influence the ASE index, shed 0.32 percent to close at JD153.8 in deals worth around JD414,323.
Detergents producer Industrial Commercial and Agricultural maintained for the second week healthy demand on local investors optimism of a better 2000 performance.
The share gained 3.79 percent to close at JD1.37 after shares worth JD98,000 changed hands.
Mining blue-chip, Arab Potash Company, rose 1.60 percent to close at JD3.15 after shares worth around JD49,003 changed hands. For the second day in a row large block deals accounted for the bulk of Jordan Petroleum deals. The sole refiner shed JD0.09 to close at JD11.43 after shares worth JD36,575 changed hands in one of busiest trades of the day.
Overall gainers outpaced losers by 42 to 12 with 15 shares unchanged. — (Jordan Times)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)