(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The general index of Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) ended last week on a positive note driven by higher share prices of heavyweight stocks, particularly Arab Potash Company and Arab Bank.
Amidst improving trading volumes, the index closed last week at 2,764.3 points, an increase of 1.5 per cent over its closing level in the previous week.
While investors still await the release of 2009 first quarter results, we expect the market to fluctuate this week within a narrow price range as a result of speculative trading activities.
Except for the services sector that declined by 1 per cent, all indices advanced led by diversified financial services which posted the highest gain of 7.2 per cent.
As for the trading activity, 189.3 million shares exchanged hands. leaving gains at 105 firms and losses at 74 entities out of 205 traded corporations.
In terms of the value traded by sector, real estate came in first place accounting for 33.2 per cent of the total followed by the diversified financial services sector with 27.5 per cent and then the services which accounted for 16 per cent of the value traded last week.
The most actively traded shares were those of Real Estate Development, Taameer Jordan Holdings and South Electronics Company with a combined value traded of JD42.8 million accounting for 15.8 per cent of the total value traded.
Three block deals were executed on the shares of Jordan Islamic Bank, Irbid District Electricity and United Arab Investors with transaction values of JD19.5 million, JD15 million and JD0.6 million.
The general assembly of Arab Potash Company approved the distribution of cash dividends to shareholders at a rate of 70 per cent.
Jordan Steel announced a net profit of JD3 million for the first quarter of 2009.
The general assembly of Arab Banking Corporation approved increasing the company's paid-up capital by 10 per cent to JD71 million shares.
The general assembly of Irbid District Electricity approved the distribution of cash dividends to shareholders at a rate of 83 per cent.
The general assembly of Al Bilad Securities & Investment Co. (BLAD) has approved the distribution of cash dividends to shareholders at a rate of 15 per cent.
The general assembly of Al Zarqa Educational & Investment approved increasing the company's paid-up capital from JD8.4 million to JD12 million through the capitalisation of voluntary and special reserves and a part of the retained earnings.
According to data issued by the Department of Statistics (DoS), the consumer price average rose by 2.8 per cent during the first three months of 2009 compared to the same period of 2008.
Statistics also showed that the general industrial price index increased by 20.5 per cent during the first two months of this year compared to the same period of 2008 and the general industrial production index declined by 4.8 per cent during the first two months of 2009 compared to the same period of 2008.
The price index of agricultural producers declined by 23.3 per cent during the month of February 2009 compared to the same period last year.
The DoS said total national exports rose by 17 per cent to JD583.7 million during the first quarter of 2009 compared to JD497.1 million in the same period million of 2008.
Data issued by the Income and Sales Tax Department idicated that income and sales tax collections rose by 17.4 per cent during the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period last year.