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Almost all Israel's leading indexes ended in the green yesterday, while European stock markets fell by around 1% and Asian exchanges fell hard.

The Israeli shares started the day in the doldrums but rebounded in late trading.

While Tel Aviv investors pounced on shares, on slightly heavier turnover than in recent days of NIS 1.6 billion, Hong Kong shares fell 3%, Chinese stocks fell 1.8% and South Korea shares lost 2.2%. Over in Europe, the losses ranged from 0.4% to 1.2% although the eurozone jitters are certainly closer to home. After steep morning losses, equities clawed back some ground on European moves to foil the crisis from spreading to Italy and Spain. Euro-priced gold hit a record high yesterday as investors, spooked by fears of contagion, sought safety, Reuters reported. Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi sought to soothe shattered nerves by promising that Rome would balance its budget by 2014, and expedite steps to reduce Italy's debt to GDP ratio, which is among the highest in the world.

Over in Tel Aviv, the talk of the floor was Tao Tsuot, shares of which soared 18% (see Page 11 ). Meanwhile, the benchmark TA-25 index gained 0.3% to 1,251 points and the broader TA-100 index gained 0.2% to 1,139 points. The only leading index to lose ground was oil and gas, which dipped 0.3% in part thanks to a 14% slide by Lapidoth, which has halted drilling at the land-bound site Heletz.

Among the most active shares yesterday were Israel Chemicals, which broke through the flatline in late trading to close 0.9% higher on turnover of NIS 139 million. Shares of its parent company, Israel Corp., rose 1.7% on turnover of NIS 49 million. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries gained 1.5% on turnover of NIS 119 million.