Some stocks surged on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Tuesday, after opening the day with small losses. But the TASE acted somewhat schizophrenic, as only the leading indexes rose, with most shares, especially small-cap, losing ground.
In any case, it was Europe that got the attention of most local investors once again, and the TASE followed European markets upward on Tuesday. Hopes for a new Greek coalition government and for a positive outcome at the meeting of G-20 nations fomented cautious optimism.
The blue chip TA-25 index rose 1.3% to close at 1,081 points, and the broader TA-100 index gained 1% to end the day at 994. The TA-Banks index rose 0.1% and the Real Estate-15 index was unchanged for the day. It was a good day for technology shares, and the BlueTech-50 index climbed 1.4%. The Biomed index fell 0.2% and the Oil and Gas Exploration index lost 0.5%. The TA-MidCap-50 fell 1.1%, as did the Yeter index of small-cap shares.
Turnover was normal for recent weeks at NIS 950 million, but still low by standards of a year ago.
Large-cap corporate bonds as represented by the TelBond-20, -40 and -60 indexes fell 0.3%, to 0.5%, and the TelBond-Shekel index was down 0.2%.
The TA-Insurance index plunged 3.2%, led down by Harel Insurance, which lost 3.7% and Clal Insurance, which fell 4.2%. The TA-Communications index dropped 1.6% as HOT lost 2.6%, Cellcom lost 3.2% and Partner fell 1.4%.
A number of dual-listed shares opened the day with positive arbitrage gaps, and rose. Mellanox climbed 6.8%, Allot rose 4.3%, and Perrigo gained 3.3%. Babylon jumped 9.8%.
Rami Levi climbed 3.8% on news it was negotiating to buy dozens of stores from the rival Mega supermarket chain. Super-Sol, the country's biggest supermarket chain, fell 7.2%.
The dollar was unchanged against the shekel on Tuesday, while the euro lost ground against the local currency. The dollar remained at a representative rate of NIS 3.85 and the representative rate for the euro was set at NIS 4.86. The shekel is in a state-of-waiting, with all eyes on the G-20 meetings, said analyst Yiftach Drori. But Drori had little hope for significant results from the meetings; if he is correct, it would translate into a slight rise in the dollar.
World stocks rose more than 1% and the euro gained amid optimism the world's major central banks will provide more economic stimulus as the euro zone crisis worsens. Global stocks, as measured by the MSCI's all-country world equity index climbed 1.2%. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 added 1.6%, while Spain's IBEX rose 2.7%.
The U.S. Federal Reserve began a two-day policy-setting meeting on Tuesday, with investors focused on whether it will unveil any more stimuli to support the lackluster recovery. Analysts expect the Fed to extend its long-term bond-buying through "Operation Twist" by a few months, from the current deadline of June. Expectations of further stimuli from the Fed pressured the U.S. dollar across the board.
Spain lurched closer to becoming the largest euro zone country yet to be shut out of credit markets when it had to pay a euro-era record price to sell short-term debt on Tuesday. Greece and its international lenders will renegotiate the program on which its second financial bailout is based because circumstances have changed, a senior euro zone official said on Tuesday.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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