Market Report / Rockets Hit Stocks

The TA-25 index of blue chips finished 0.3% lower at 1,208.12 while the TA-100 dropped 0.4% to 1,067.30.

Shelly Appelberg
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Shelly Appelberg

Rocket attacks in the south and concerns about the "fiscal cliff" in the United States conspired to bring down shares and bond prices on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Sunday.

The TA-25 index of blue chips finished 0.3% lower at 1,208.12 while the TA-100 dropped 0.4% to 1,067.30. The TA-Banking index, which dropped on Wednesday, rebounded Sunday to advance 0.3% to 1,079.74, all on paltry turnover of just NIS 504 million. The TA-Banking index dropped 0.1% to a close of 1,080.83 while the Real Estate-15 index was off 0.2% to 286.15.

Some 60 rockets struck southern Israel as of early evening Sunday, bringing the total to 80 since violence flared up on Saturday. .

On Wall Street, the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 closed below its 200-day moving average - a measure of the market's long-term trend - last Thursday for the first time in five months, and ended below it again on Friday.

Analysts say the post-election sell-off may gather steam in the coming weeks as worries mount about the looming fiscal cliff. The market worries that if U.S. leaders fail to agree on $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases they could send the U.S. economy into another recession.

In Tel Aviv, Orbit shares soared close to 40% after the maker of satellite-communications equipment won a $150 million contract from an unnamed customer, including an order for 2,500 antennae as well as support and maintenance services over the next five years.

Pluristem, which was hit badly last week on a Bloomberg news report alleging the company concealed the fact that a patient died in clinical tests, rose Sunday to close 2% after the company forcefully denied the allegation and issued criticism of the report itself.

Migdal Insurance rose 0.1% after it reported yesterday that it swung to a net profit in the third quarter, boosted by a rebound in the capital markets. The insurer posted a third-quarter profit of NIS 180 million.

Hot Communications saw its profit slashed by 97% in the third quarter to just NIS 2 million as higher costs ate into the increase in revenue as the company took advantage of cellular telephony reforms to expand its subscriber base. The shares edged down 0.2%.

Reuters contributed to this report.

A trail of smoke is seen as a rocket is launched from the Palestinian Gaza Strip towards the southern Israeli city of Sderot on November 11, 2012.Credit: AFP