Market Report / Biocancell Jumps as Arbitrage Shares Retreat

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange ended lower on Sunday, as the global stock-market rally stalled.

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Tel Aviv shares ended Sunday lower on very thin trading of just NIS 591 million, as the global stock-market rally stalled on Friday. One of the stocks to buck the trend was smallcap biotech stock Biocancell, which jumped nearly 21% on turnover of NIS 8.1 million, more than 16 times its usual volume, after reporting it had successfully completed Phase IIb clinical trials for BC-819, a drug for treating superficial bladder carcinoma.

The benchmark TA-25 index finished down nearly 0.5% at 1,235 points, and the broader TA-100 lost 0.4% to end at 1,100.

The decline was paced by arbitrage stocks such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which fell 1.2% and topped the most-active shares with pitiful turnover of NIS 39 million.

Other arbitrage stocks in the red included semiconductors company Mellanox, which dropped 4.6%, the steepest drop on the TA-100.

Perrigo, a maker of over-the-counter generic drugs, fell 1%. Ceragon, a maker of wireless telephony backhaul equipment, fell 3.7%; and semiconductors foundry TowerJazz fell 2. 9%. The TASE's BlueTech-50 index fell 1.1% to 313 points.

On Friday Wall Street stocks staged a retreat as a drop in JPMorgan Chase ended a 10-day rally by the Dow Jones industrial average. The dollar meanwhile pulled back from a seven-month high despite new signs the U.S. economy is strengthening.

With the pullback in U.S. stock prices, the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index failed to make another run to break its all-time closing high, while European shares retreated from four-and-a-half-year highs.

In currency trading on Friday, the dollar lost a sharp 0.5% to the shekel, to end at a Bank of Israel rate of NIS 3.6810. The euro, meanwhile, gained 0.4% to NIS 4.8048.

Back on the TASE, Allium Medical rose 8.3% following its announcement that Meizler UCB had agreed to market and distribute Allium's stent in Brazil once it receives local regulatory approval, which will likely to take 18 to 24 months. Meizer is committed to $12 million in annual sales for the product.

Kardan NV slipped 8.9% after its Chinese unit was told on Friday that an unnamed global investment fund was breaking off talks to buy a 50% stake in the Europark Dalian shopping mall. Kardan VV's Series Aleph bonds dropped 8.2% to a yield of 35.5%, and its Series Bet bonds dropped by 10.6% to 26.3%.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

Inside the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.Credit: Bloomberg