The share index fell at start of weekly trade on Sunday, pulled down by speculative selling in market mainstay Arab Bank, dealers said.
The official 60-share benchmark Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) capitalisation-weighted index shed 0.53 percent to close at 131.95 points in turnover of around JD814,119 ($1.15 million).
“The market saw selling pressure on Arab Bank along with speculative deals on smaller capitalised shares,” said Assad Al Dissi, head of Amman Securities and Investments firm.
Mounting selling pressure on Arab Bank, which comprises over 40 percent of the bourses' total capitalization, was driven by local speculators.
The share, whose price moves heavily influence the index, shed 0.82 percent to close at JD151 in 39 deals worth JD365,415, almost half the day's volume.
Dealers said some speculators were testing the market mainstay's resistance to breach the JD150 psychological barrier it has not touched since over a year.
Dealers also noted a slowdown in last week's improved trading triggered by optimism over closer business ties with Iraq after a Jordanian plane flew last week to Baghdad. It was the first Arab flight to Iraq in a decade.
Detergents producer Industrial Commercial and Agricultural, one of the firms that stand to gain from closer ties with Iraq, kept up its recent strong performance.
It gained 4.86 percent to close at JD1.51 after shares worth nearly JD79,000 changed hands in the second busiest deals of the day.
Arab Aluminium Industry, rose 2.90 percent to close at JD1.42 after shares worth around JD74,614 changed hands in the third heaviest trades.
Profit taking again hurt pharmaceutical manufacturer Dar Al Dawa, which fell 1.93 percent to close at JD2.03 after shares worth JD22,726 changed hands.
Jordan Petroleum Refinery, a refiner which supplies the country with Iraqi crude, was unchanged at JD11.50 after shares worth just JD14,000 changed hands. — (Jordan Times)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)