Tel Aviv stock indexes ended below water across the board following an International Monetary Fund warning that the euro zone debt crisis is escalating and could derail the global economic recovery.
The fund called for urgent action to restore confidence, which was in short order yesterday. As in Europe, Israeli shares began the day with a hard fall and clawed back some ground - but not enough to break into the green.
Total turnover on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange remained low, at less than a billion shekels, indicating that most investors are still sitting firmly on the fence.
But the losses on the day weren't big. The benchmark TA-25 index lost 0.9% to 1,123 points. The broader TA-100 index fell 0.8% to 1,018 points. The steepest index loss yesterday was the TA-Biomed, which dropped 2.5%, for which it could thank D Pharm. Shares of that company plunged 85% after it admitted that its flagship stroke drug under development doesn't work as well as hoped.
Shares of D Pharm's parent company Clal Biotechnology tumbled 8%, and its parent company, Clal Industries, lost 3.1%. (See Page 11.)
On the flip side, BiolineRX gained 37% after announcing the signature on an exclusive agreement with French biotechnology company Genoscience. The Israeli firm will get the development and commercialization rights to the pill BL-8020, a treatment for hepatitis C.
Elbit Imaging stock fell 5% despite the revelation that controlling shareholders Moti Zisser is negotiating a huge bond placement with an investor that would reduce pressure on the company. Elbit Imaging group bonds are trading at junk-yield levels as high as 18%.
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