teva - Tomer Appelbaum - Febrruary 9 2011
Shlomo Yanai. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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Israeli shares finished mixed yesterday on turnover just slightly higher than normal - a quarter of which was in Teva Pharmaceutical Industries alone. The story of the day was the Israeli drugmaker, which struck out into uncharted territory by disappointing shareholders with its fourth-quarter results. For what those results were, see Page 8, but let it suffice to say sales fell short of expectations.

Investors reacted by sending the drug company's stock down 4.3% on turnover of NIS 507 million. Total turnover for the day was NIS 2.1 billion.

The Tel Aviv indexes were mixed, with the benchmark TA-25 edging down 1.4%, the broader TA-100 inching down 0.2% and midcaps gaining half a percent. Tech stocks gained a little, banks ended below water and the only index that posted any halfway meaningful movement was the Biomed index, which lost 0.7%.

Naturally Teva was the most active stock on the floor, with Israel Chemicals far behind, gaining 0.8% (on exceptionally volatile trading ) on turnover of NIS 183 million, followed by Ratio Oil Exploration, which gained 1.3% on a volume of NIS 84 million.

World stock exchanges had no guidance to offer Israeli investors. European stocks were mixed, with share prices rising in London, Frankfurt and Paris, Spain and Amsterdam too. Scandinavia's exchanges lost ground, though not by much. The steepest loss was Stockholm shares, which lost 0.7%.

Asian markets were also mixed. Stocks gained ground in Tokyo, where the Nikkei added 0.4%, and inched up in Malaysia, but elsewhere the tigers were growling.

Hong Kong shares lost 0.5% and Indian stocks lost 1.8%. South Korea's KOSPI lost 0.6%.

U.S. investors seemed charmed to learn that McDonald's European sales in January had run at roughly double the level analysts had been predicting. Europe is responsible for 40% of McDonald's revenues, while the United States is responsible for 35%.

Elsewhere in the world, gold jumped about 1% as traders covering short positions in the New York futures market pushed spot prices through key resistance levels. Oil also rebounded after losing ground in morning trading.

El Al shares finished a hair below the flatline. The company yesterday said it is buying four to six new Boeing planes for $215 million to $320 million, depending on whether it exercises its option to buy the two extra ones.

Among the blue chips, the biggest movers of the day were Delek Group companies. The parent company itself gained 1.1% but subsidiary Delek Drilling advanced by 1.4%.

Isramco, which is also involved in oil and gas exploration, lost 3%. None of these figures are terribly meaningful, given the extreme fluctuation in the gas explorers' share prices.

Among the MidCap-50 pack, Ampal American corrected upwards by 3.9%: Its stock had taken a beating because of its 12.5% stake in EMG, the Egyptian company that supplies Israel with natural gas, whose pipeline to Syria and Jordan blew up Saturday. AudioCodes was also among the gainers, rising by more than 4%.