Finance shares send TASE climbing before Yom Kippur
Banks gain 3 percent, insurance up 4 percent.
Stocks rose strongly on Monday on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The TASE will be closed today and tomorrow for the Yom Kippur fast day.
The market opened in the green and rose steadily all day long, despite the losses in European markets at the same time. Asian shares also closed lower.
What stood out on Monday was the trading volume, which was over NIS 1.1 billion, some 75% higher than recent averages. A number of traders explained the jump in trading was due to the early switch from Daylight Savings Time in Israel - the clocks changed last weekend - which leaves the final hour of trading on the TASE, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30, overlapping with the opening hour of trading on Wall Street.
Financial sector stocks led the way upward on Monday, and the TA-Finance index rose 3%. The blue chip TA-25 index rose 1.6% and closed at 1,667 points and the broader TA-100 index gained 1.5% to end the day at 1,041 points. All the major indexes were well in the green.
The Real Estate-15 index jumped 2.8% for the day, with Alrov Israel climbing 9.8% and pulling the index up. Africa Israel Properties gained 8.7% and Eliezer Fishman's Jerusalem Economic Corp. rose 8%.
The Biomed index gained 1.2% and the BlueTech-50 index rose 0.5%. Technology shares gained broadly, but still fell short of the gains in other sectors. The Oil and Gas Exploration index rose 0.7%, as shares in the industry were more mixed.
As to the banks, they continued their recent momentum upward, and the TA-Banks index rose 2.9% with Bank Leumi gaining 4% and Bank Hapoalim rising 2.1% Israel Discount Bank gained 3.25%. The TA-Insurance index gained 4% with Menorah-Mivtachim up 5.9% and Harel gaining 5.8%.
The large-cap corporate bond indexes, the TelBond-20, -40 and -60 all rose by up to 0.3%. These indexes are heavily weighted toward bonds of the banks, and reflected the big gains Monday for the banking sector.
Bezeq climbed 4% as the share price adjusted for the huge NIS 1.5 billion dividend, as the ex-dividend date fell over the weekend.
Two energy shares stood out - for the worse Monday: Israel Land Development Corp. energy and Modiin, which fell 4.1% and 4.3% respectively.
IDB group bonds fell even further Monday, well into double digit and even triple digit yields, on news that controling owner Nochi Dankner had found an investor in his private Ganden Holdings, through which he controls IDB. IDB Holding bonds fell by up to 4%.
European shares fell on Monday, as a dampening in German business sentiment and fresh worries over Greece and Spain hit markets and pushed investors towards more defensive equity sectors such as healthcare stocks. The FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down 0.3% and the euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.7%. German business sentiment fell for a fifth straight month in September to its lowest since early 2010, raising fears of recession in Europe's biggest economy. Spain is facing increasing pressure to apply for a bailout, while a report in Germany that Greece may have a 20 billion euro hole in its state budget also unnerved investors.
Reuters contributed to this report.