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It was difficult to work out exactly where yesterday's optimism on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange came from. And if we discount the trade in banks Hapoalim and Leumi which constituted over half the market's turnover, then we can see that trade was miserably low and concentrated on the blue chips.

Volume of trade reached NIS 286 million, or just NIS 137 million without the banks.

Nothing was remarkably different yesterday than the day before, or last week, but trade was definitely on the way up and the leading stock indices gained on the day. Maybe there is a simple explanation - a dearth of sellers.

The Maof index closed 1.7 percent up, and the Tel Aviv 100 gained 1.4 percent. The Tel-Tech index of leading technology stocks added 1.5 percent.

Apart from the trading in bank shares, most other shares registered slight gains but on very low trade volume. Osem gained 0.6 percent on trade of only NIS 110,000.

Delek, another Maof-listed share, moved up 1 percent on volume of only NIS 220,000. Clal Electronics jumped 3.4 percent on trade of NIS 382,000 while Israel Chemicals Ltd gained 1 percent on volume of NIS 1 million.

The water panic sparked yesterday by the announcement not to drink water from the faucet in the Gush Dan region, could have done wonders for the four companies traded on the TASE that compete in the market for bottled water. But that wasn't necessarily so.

Neviot registered the sharpest drops (yes, drops) among the four, on trade of NIS 200,000. During the day, the share lost up to 7 percent, but managed to rally before close of play, and the share lost 1.2 percent.

Maayanot Eden (that supplies the Mei Eden water) dropped 0.5 percent on active trade of NIS 900,000, while Jafora, which markets the bottled water from the Ein Gedi springs, fell 0.6 percent. Only Tempo Beer Industries managed a gain on the day, albeit on low trade volume. The share gained 2.6 percent at close. Tempo began importing the San Benedetto brand of bottled water last summer.

Bank Hapoalim took the lion's share of the market yesterday on trade of NIS 120 million due to its going ex-dividend. The share closed down 0.7 percent. Leumi on the other hand gained 2.5 percent on active trade of NIS 28.3 million. And even Israel Discount Bank, which has lost 40 percent since the beginning of the year, jumped 3.7 percent yesterday on high volume of NIS 7.6 million on unfounded rumors that someone was buying control of the bank.