(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Despite positive news regarding Dubai's debt relief and the decision of the central bank to lower its key interest rate by half a percentage point, most stocks on the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) came under heavy selling pressures as a result of margin calls and profit-taking activities towards the end of the year.
The ASE index closed last week at 2,534.7 points, 2.4 per cent lower than the closing level at the end of the previous week.
We expect the index to fluctuate this week within a narrow price range before investors start building new positions in shares of strategic companies at the beginning of next year.
All sectors regressed last week, with the index of diversified financial services posting the largest loss at 5.4 per cent followed by real estate which fell by 4.3 per cent.
As for trading activity, 171.9 million shares exchanged hands leaving gains at 49 firms and losses at 113 entities out of 196 traded companies.
In terms of value traded by sector, services came in first place accounting for 32.2 per cent of the total followed by the real estate sector with 26.8 per cent and then the diversified financial services which accounted for 21.4 per cent of total value traded last week.
The most actively traded shares were those of Taameer Jordan Holdings, Al Ahlia Enterprises and United Group Holdings with a combined value traded of JD28.1 million accounting for 22.5 per cent of total value traded.
Several block deals were executed last week, most significantly were on shares of First Jordan Investments, Bindar Trading & Investments and Arab Bank with transaction values amounting to JD10.7 million, JD7.9 million and JD4.5 million respectively.
The ASE announced the re-listing of Aman for Agricultural & Industrial Investments after the Ministry of Industry and Trade declined its request to restructure capital.
Comprehensive Multiple Transportation announced signing the final agreement with its strategic partner Transportation and Storage Group Kuwait. The partner is allocated 50 per cent of the company's total shares pending the required government approvals.
A report issued by the Department of Statistics showed a decline in the unemployment rate during the fourth quarter of this year by 2 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2009 and an increase of 0.2 per cent year over year.
DoS statistics revealed a 2.1 per cent growth for the first nine months of this year compared with the same period of 2008. The growth has also stood at 2.1 per cent for the third quarter of 2009 compared with the second quarter of the same year.
Other data indicated that the value of national exports fell by 20 per cent during the first ten months of this year besides a 20 per cent drop in reexports compared with the same period of 2008.The value of imports went down by 20.8 per cent during the January- October of 2009.
Deficit in the general budget of the current year is expected to reach JD1.4 billion after the Cabinet issued a JD300 million appendix to payoff the government's debts to different business sectors.
Excess reserves at the Central Bank reached JD4 billion including overnight deposits in the deposit window as of December 21, 2009.
According to a recent report issued by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, tourism income edged down 0.8 per cent during the first 11 months of 2009 compared to the same period last year.
Disclaimer: The above information and opinions have been compiled in good faith from sources believed to be reliable, but Capital Investments makes no warranty as to the truth and accuracy of the information contained herein. All opinions expressed are not to be regarded as investment advice, and are only for informative purposes. Therefore, Capital Investments accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss of any kind arising out of the use of all or any part of this report.