Trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange kicked off the week with moderate gains for all the major indices following strong advances on Wall Street over the weekend.
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Both the TA-25 and TA-100 indexes ended up 0.6% higher for the day at 1,232.63 and 1,108.35 points, respectively. But turnover was thin, with just NIS 590 million changing hands. The TA-Banks index edged up just 0.1% and the TA Real Estate 15 strengthened by 0.2%.
The dollar rose and global equity markets rallied on Friday after U.S. jobs data for May quashed investors' concerns that the Federal Reserve would soon start easing back on its stimulus program.
Employment outside thefarming sector in the world's leading economy rose by 175,000 last month, Labor Department data showed, just above the median forecast in a Reuters poll. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate ticked .1% higher to 7.6%, a relatively hopeful sign, as it was driven by more workers entering the American labor force.
The Dow Jones Industrial Averageclosed up 1.4% at 15,248.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 1.3% to 1,643.38, and the Nasdaq CompositeIndexadded 1.3% to 3,469.22. The FTSEurofirst 300index of leading European shares gained 1.3% to close at 1,194.26.
Despite its worldwide rally, the dollar sank to as low as NIS 3.6149 before the Bank of Israel stepped in to buy foreign currency. That helped lift the U.S. currency to a Bank of Israel rate of NIS 3.6290, but it was still down 0.55% for the day and 1.5% for the week. By contrast, the euro strengthened against the shekel to NIS 4.8039.
Among TA-100 stocks, the steepest advances were registered by online transition company Babylon, which advanced 3.5%; over-the-counter drug maker Perrigo, which began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday after moving from theNasdaq, added 3.1%, and Mivtach Shamir Holdings and Compugen, which each gained 3.0%.
Shares in Allot Communications and Alony Hetz Properties & Investments posted the sharpest losses, both shedding 3.6%. Pluristem Therapeutics ended 2.2% lower for the day. Last Tuesday,a mid-stage trial of its experimental muscle pain drug was put on clinical hold by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration due to a serious allergic reaction in a patient.
Nochi Dankner's IDB Holding Corporation jumped 7.7% after being given an extension by the court to dig itself out of its financial predicament and keep bondholders from gaining control. The court said IDB had till August 22 to sell its stake in Clal Insurance to raise cash and ordered an observer it appointed to produce a recovery plan by July 7. Bondholder will get an NIS 800 million payment due them.
Trading in the bond markets was mixed, with the Tel-Bond 40 dropping 0.22%. Taking advantage of prevailing low interest rates, three companies raised a total of NIS 1.5 billion in debt over the weekend.
Real estate investor Gazit Globe sold NIS 860 million of its Series 11 bonds, which rose 0.36% on Sunday, while Paz Oil and mall operator Melisron each raised NIS 300 million. Paz's Series Gimmel bonds were off 0.05% on Sunday.
The government's inflation-linked 10-year bonds were down 0.03% while its 10-year shekel bonds fell 0.26%. Series B12 of Habas Investments climbed 8.3% on reports that several offers were made to buy the heavily indebted company.
Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries posted a robust 2.1% gain despite being thrust into an unwelcome spotlight over issues of quality control on Saturday. The French daily Le Figaro reported a patient who was treated using the company's Ferosemide diuretic, a generic version of Lasilix, had died. Meanwhile, Marseilles police have launched an investigation into the "suspicious" death of a 92-year-old man who they say may have taken instead a mislabeled sleeping pill made by Teva.
Delek Automotive Systems, importer of Mazda, Ford and BMW cars, fell 1% even after telling shareholders on Sunday that Mobileye, a developer of collision-prevention technology in which it owns a 3.3% stake, was subject to a $35-a-share offer that values it at $1.48 billion.