The trading week ended on Tel Aviv capital markets on an upswing. The shekel continued to gain ground and the stock exchange strode up 3 percent. Since the hike in lending rates three days ago, the shekel has added 3.1 percent and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has move 4.6 percent forward. TASE's positive trend this week, except when overshadowed Wednesday by the $3.8 billion WorldCom fraud, can be attributed to the calm currency trading and quiet bond market following that market's Sunday collapse. The Maof-25 blue chip index gained 3.2 percent yesterday, closing on 365 points. The TA-75 gained 2.1 percent. The bank index climbed 4.1 percent, mostly on Bank Hapoalim's 6.1 percent trek north on unusually high NIS 64 million turnover.
The representative dollar exchange rate was set at NIS 4.826, as the shekel gained 1.15 percent on the previous official rate, on the large difference between dollar and shekel interest rates.
Yesterday was the last Thursday of the month, and Maof options expired on an index of 358 points. Turnover was middling for an expiry day at NIS 477 million.
The only Maof share to post a drop yesterday was Israel Discount Bank. Mizrahi Bank, Discount Investments and Migdal Insurance all posted more than 4-percent gains. Medium-sized banks Union, Discount Mortgage and Tefahot all posted sharper than 7-percent gains.
It was Tefahot's last trading day before joining the Maof list, which may have explained its surge as funds and Maof players matched the new index composition.
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