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Israeli shares spent much of yesterday above water, with investors blithely ignoring the drama in the currency market as the Bank of Israel launched its third attack on speculators (see the story above ). While Tel Aviv stocks ended mixed with a positive bias on turnover that returned to normal levels of NIS 2 billion for the day, world markets powered ahead.

The Dow and S&P 500 advanced to their highest levels since June 2008. Oil pulled back as the supply from Egypt continued largely undisrupted, barring the pipeline explosion in Sinai on Saturday that cut off its neighbors to the north. That turned out to be sabotage, it unfolded late in the day. By the time that came out, Brent crude had fallen back below $100 per barrel.

Gold inched up, though the general sense of optimism gaining traction in world markets doesn't play in favor of the safe-harbor metal. European markets gained ground across the board, with relatively strong showings by London tech stocks and the benchmark Paris insurance company. Some indexes reached a 29-month high. Note that "relatively strong" in this case means something over 1%, but not much. Helsinki also did well. Over in Asia, the picture was nuanced but again, the figures were not dramatic. Hong Kong shares retreated by 1.3% and the Hang Seng lost 1.5%. .

In Israel the gainer of the day was the Real Estate-15 index, which advanced 1.5%, pulled up by a 3% gain by heavyweight Africa Israel Investments. The property company reported that its American unit AFI USA had sold 163 apartments in the District project at 111 Fulton Street, Manhattan. The benchmark TA-25 index gained 0.3% to 1,324 points, and the broader TA-100 index advanced by 0.4% to 1,233 points. Midcaps gained a feebler 0.5%.

Bezeq shares lost 0.9% in a reversal from the 2.5% leap the day before after a warm recommendation from UBS.

Hatehof stock lost nearly 8% despite an agreement being reached for the company's sale to an investment group. The agreement includes an arrangement for the NIS 250 million that the company owes.

 

With reporting by Reuters.