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Local markets yesterday plummeted as much as 2 percent during the day, but recovered to end with moderate losses. The Tel Aviv-25 fell off just 0.2 percent, to a level of 1,108.48 points, while the broader TA-100 lost 0.4 percent, to close at 1,101.30 points. The Tel-Tech 15 dropped 0.6 percent to 404.46 points.

Market players attributed declines to the European Central Bank's recent decision to raise its prime lending rate to 4.0 percent and to interest rates of over 5.0 percent being offered for 10-year bonds in the U.S.

Shares in Enter Holdings (TASE:ENHD) and Tiv Taam Holdings (TASE:TTAM) were lit up yesterday by the acquisition over the weekend of Tiv Taam from Enter, by Arcadi Gaydamak. News of the NIS 820 million deal, which represents a premium of 80 percent for the food chain, sent shares in Enter leaping 44.6 percent, while Tiv Taam soared 47.5 percent.

The bank index was dragged down 1.5 percent yesterday by its two largest members. Bank Leumi (TASE:LUMI) dropped 2.5 percent on the day's highest turnover, while Bank Hapoalim (TASE:POLI) slipped 1.0 percent.

Israel Chemicals (TASE:CHIM) and the Delek Group (TASE:DLEKG), which hold equal shares in desalination engineering company IDE Technologies were both boosted by reports that IDE had won a $100 million contract to build China's largest seawater desalination plant. IDE will construct the plant for Tianjin SDIC, a state-owned company operating under China's Energy Authority. Delek Group shares ramped up 2.9 percent, while Israel Chemicals gained 2.5 percent.

IDB Development (TASE:IDBD) and its subsidiary Property and Building (TASE:PTBL) traded heavily after announcing a giant deal signed with Yitzhak Tshuva's Elad Group to build exclusive properties in Las Vegas. However, while the parent company rose 0.6 percent, Property and Building shares remained flat.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TASE,NASD:TEVA) opened yesterday with a negative arbitrage gap of 0.4 percent, and ended up falling 1.5 percent, on the news of late last week it would soon commence late phase III testing of its multiple sclerosis treatment candidate laquinimod.