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Shares End 2.2% Down

Shares End 2.2% DownShares End 2.2% Down

Shares on Tehran Stock Exchange had a bumpy ride in the first month of the Iranian year (March 20-April 19), ending the month lower as shares pared gains from a rally in January and February.

Worries about the undoing of the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1—Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States, plus Germany—after Iranian officials said American sanctions unrelated to the agreement were blocking the accord’s proper implementation, spurred bearish bets. This led to the market’s worst week in nine months.

The nuclear deal signed in July ended a decade-long dispute over the scope of Tehran’s atomic energy program and led to the lifting of sanctions by the international community.

Equities staged a rally after the lifting of sanctions in mid-January, sending TSE’s benchmark up 35%, on optimism about improving economy and increased foreign investments. The TSE finished the last Iranian year 28.3% higher.

Stocks rose in the first trading week of the last Iranian Year, as fears about falling commodity global prices subsided.

TSE’s main index, TEDPIX, closed at 80,216 points on March 17 as Iranians went to celebrate the Iranian New Year. The TSE reopened on March 26, after the New Year holidays, with its index jumping 1,000 points off last year’s close.

The benchmark finished the year’s first week 1.5% higher, hitting its highest in 26 months a day later on April 2, closing at 81,536.6 points.

The market went into a correction with stocks tumbling 4,000 points or 5% in the preceding two weeks, as political infighting over the nuclear deal’s efficacy and an anti-Iran communiqué passed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation along with the breakup of talks to freeze output between major oil producers in Qatar fueled negative sentiment. Equities sank to a six-week low of 77,516.2 points on April 17.

In the final days of the first Iranian month, stocks snapped their downtrend and rallied, political worries took a pause and low prices spurred bullish bets, ending the month 2.2% lower at 78,430.9 points.

As for the over-the-counter exchange Iran Fara Bourse, the main index wiped 26.05 points or 3.3% to end at 779.56 on April 19.

The IFX reached its highest for the month (822.89 points) on March 26 and kept well above the 800 mark until April 17, when it gave up more than 45 points to hit its lowest at 758.51.

Financialtribune.com