March 16, 2020 / 8:07 PM / 13 days ago

UPDATE 1-Jordan suspends trading in Amman bourse over coronavirus -state media

(Adds details and background)

AMMAN, March 16 (Reuters) - Jordan’s government suspended trading in the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) from Tuesday until further notice, after the government approved a decision taken by the Jordan Securities Commission (JSC), state media said on Monday.

The market had plunged in recent days and the ASE index closed at end of trading on Thursday at the lowest point since December 2003. The bourse was forced to reduce trading limits and trading session hours after daily trading volumes plummeted.

Market capitalisation fell almost 2 percent to 14.14 billion dinars ($19.7 billion), levels unseen since 2005.

The government has been taking measures to cushion the impact of the epidemic on the cash strapped economy as the authorities tightened restrictions by banning all incoming and outgoing flights as of end of Tuesday. It closed its borders.

Separately, Jordan’s Central Bank announced on Sunday measures to help troubled businesses and a tourism sector hit hard by the impact of the crisis.

Officials are worried the crisis that has hit the thriving tourism sector, which generates around $5 billion annually, will slash growth projections and deepen an economic downturn.

$1=0.709 dinars Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi, Editing by William Maclean

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