Wall Street losses of almost 2 percent at the end of last week along with Syrian threats after Israel's alleged overflight left Tel Aviv with little choice but to start the week on the wrong foot yesterday. The TA-25 lost 1.4 percent, to close at 1,037.5 points, and was down 2.8 percent for the last two trading sessions. The Tel Aviv blue-chip index is now only 3.6 percent above the 1,000 point barrier - and closing in fast.
The TA-100 lost 1.5 percent for the day, closing at 1,017.7 points. Bond markets were mixed, as long-term Shahar government bonds rose by 0.1 percent, while long-term shekel-linked Galil bonds lost 0.4 percent. Turnover was NIS 1.4 billion.
Yesterday's losses were certainly connected to the 1.9 percent drop on Friday of both the Dow and the Nasdaq, on poor employment news in the U.S.
Among dual-listed stocks, Teva lost 1.2 percent after starting the day with a negative arbitrage gap; and Nice ended the day off 0.5 percent after trading in the green for most of the day.
The Banks-5 index had so far moved little in September, after dropping 3 percent from the beginning of the year - but yesterday the bear market caught up to the banks and lost another 1.7 percent. Bank Hapoalim was down 2.2 percent, even though its controlling shareholder, Shari Arison, bought NIS 120 million of the bank's shares in an off-the-floor transaction yesterday. Hapoalim shares also were influenced by reports that the bank is considering buying a Turkish bank for $100 million.
Bank Leumi lost 1.1 percent.
The Real Estate-15 lost 2.6 percent yesterday, on top of its 1.5 percent drop since the beginning of September through last Thursday. Africa Israel, the heaviest weighted share in the index, drew the index down with its own 5 percent loss yesterday.
Gazit Globe shares lost 2.5 percent, and Ormat shares lost 2.1 percent.
On the positive side, Verifone stood out with a 4.5 percent rise, on NIS 31 million in trading. The company announced at the end of last week that it outperformed analysts' forecasts, and reported 57 percent revenue growth - even though net profits shrank 20 percent, due to accounting adjustments. Verifone also raised its guidance for the present quarter.
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