TA-25 unchanged for a wild week Banks up 1.5% yesterday
Stocks rose yesterday to end a volatile trading week on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. After a week of heavy losses due to the unrest in the Middle East and rising world oil prices, the TASE closed the week on an optimistic note after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress: “We have seen increased evidence that a self-sustaining recovery in consumer and business spending may be taking hold.”
The blue chip TA-25 index rose 0.6% to close at 1,272 points, while the broader TA-100 index gained 0.7% to end the day at 1,171 points. The Banks-5 index climbed 1.5% and the Real Estate-15 index was off 0.2%. Turnover was relatively light at under NIS 1.7 billion.
For the week, the benchmark TA-25 was unchanged while the TA-100 rose 0.5%. The Banks-5 climbed 1.5% for the week.
Government bonds were off by 0.1% yesterday and large-cap corporate bonds rose by up to 0.2%.
Bank shares moved far from where they started yesterday, but in different directions: Bank Hapoalim rose 2.4% and Bank Leumi was up 2.3%, while Israel Discount Bank fell 3.2%. Discount announced yesterday that it was writing down about NIS 850 million after implementing new instructions for the supervisor of banks at the Bank of Israel on “measuring and discovery of problematic debts.”
World markets rose strongly yesterday. Oil prices eased off slightly, as did gold.
In local forex trading, the shekel rose against both the dollar and the euro yesterday, with the greenback dropping 0.7% to a representative rate of NIS 3.611. The euro lost 0.4% against the local currency to a representative rate of NIS 5.004.
In world forex trading, the euro soared after European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said the bank will exercise “strong vigilance” over rising inflation, and may raise interest rates as soon as next month.
Carmit Candy jumps nearly 10%
Isramco gained 2% as the oil exploration partnership reported on Wednesday the reinterpretation of the results from its test well in the Shimshon offshore field.
TowerJazz rose 2.2% yesterday; subsidiaries of Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group revealed they had increased their share of TowerJazz to 5.86%. The Israel Corporation rose 0.7%.
Carmit Candy Industries jumped 9.4%. While the CEO and two senior managers were charged with operating the company’s Rishon Letzion plant without a valid business license, Carmit said the only problem was that the facility’s fire safety approval had expired and it would be renewed shortly.
Among the local shares that stood out for the week were fashion house Castro, up 15%; ILD Insurance, up 23%; and Polar Investments, up 19%.
Protalix Biotherapeutics plunged 34% for the week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration refused to approve its new drug for Gaucher’s disease.
News agencies contributed to this report.