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Tel Aviv stocks ended with firm losses after a choppy session, which began with gains, quickly reversed to losses, and then seesawed all day. The negative trend gained momentum in the afternoon, as fond hopes that Wall Street would open with gains were dashed. "There could be many explanations for the losses, but the bottom line is that investors are stressed," said one trader.

The TA-25 index lost 1.2 percent to 1,041.5 points, and the TA-100 index fell 1.2 percent to 1,013. Total turnover was respectable at NIS 1.6 billion. The highest turnover of the day, NIS 101 million, was in the TALI Short-25 exchange-traded fund, which is an instrument that wins the investor gains if share prices fall.

Banks had a bad day: Leumi lost 1 percent on a volume of NIS 90 million, while in chemicals, ICL sank 1.2 percent ahead of its quarterly report, due today. Retalix shares dived 15 percent after the company published disappointing results for the second quarter of 2007. Conversely, the HOT cable company published good results, and was rewarded with a 2.6 percent gain. Kardan NV, a real estate firm, today said that quarterly profit shot up to 55 million euros, but revenues had fallen. It saw its stock lose 4.4 percent. Gazit Globe has signed an agreement to buy 50 percent of U. Dori Engineering, which sent the latter's shares climbing by 5.1 percent. In the last week, U. Dori shares had lost 20 percent. Yesterday Gazit Globe stock sank 1.1 percent.