Tel Aviv stocks finished a dull day of trading mixed on tiny turnover, despite a certain backwind from European markets. But futures indicated a gray day on Wall Street. The biomed index surged ahead, lifted by strong showings by biopharmaceutical companies Kamada and Biondvax.
Gold surged yesterday after a sharp slide in U.S. consumer confidence and a weakened euro on Greek bailout woes pushed safe-havens back into play, Reuters reported. But while European markets were mixed with a positive bias, English stocks positively roared. The benchmark FTSE-100 index gained 2.7%, and London tech stocks gained 1.8%. Why? Mainly because the London Stock Exchange had been closed Monday and yesterday was the day to play catch-up. Royal Bank of Scotland was the top performer, rising 8.4%, and Barclays gained 7.8%.
In Tel Aviv, investors hadn't been on holiday but had been listening to Jean-Claude Trichet, governor of the European Central Bank, who suggested that eurozone growth would fall short of expectations. Locally, the seep from mutual funds continues, showing that the general public is nervous about stocks. Yesterday the benchmark TA-25 index lost 0.1% to 1,121 points, and the broader TA-100 index lost 0.2% to 1,001 points. Tech stocks inched up; and biomed stocks powered ahead, relatively speaking, with a gain of 1.1%.
Super-Sol shares lost 3% as students continue to threaten a week-long boycott of the retail chain, to which they have been inviting the public through Facebook. So far, 24% of respondents in a poll said they'd certainly boycott the chain, and 25% said they might.
Among the day's movers was Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which gained 0.9% on low turnover of NIS 72 million. A New York federal court rejected Mylan's motion to toss Teva's lawsuit against Mylan. Teva claims Mylan is infringing the Israeli company's patent protecting the multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone, Teva's biggest-selling drug. The trial starts on September 7.
Real estate company Dorea lost 16% despite the company's efforts to reach a debt arrangement with creditors. Controlling shareholder Iger Bezalel proposes to pay the bondholders NIS 15 million up front and to give them two new series of bonds, totaling NIS 85 million and NIS 30 million.
Shares of Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot lost 0.3% after the bank reported netting NIS 252 million for the second quarter of 2011, an increase of 26% against the same period of 2010.
Kamada gained 2.9% after saying it's ready to start producing a snake venom antidote. (For more on that story, see page 8. ) Biondvax gained 13% after the firm, which is developing a universal flu vaccine, received the thumbs-up from the ethics committees of two Israeli hospitals - Hadassah and Ichilov - to conduct Israeli clinical trials on human subjects. The company said the trial will test the safety and efficacy of the vaccine to determine how the immune system responds to its Multimeric-001 formulation.
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