Shares rose Sunday in light trading as the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange caught up with the bullish sentiment over the weekend that the United States Federal Reserve will stick to its stimulus program for the foreseeable future.
The benchmark TA-25 index rose close to 0.9% to finish at 1,327.19 points, while the broader TA-100 added 0.8% to a 1,202.76 close. Turnover was a thin NIS 626.4 million, but relatively high for a Sunday without foreign investors present.
Israel Chemcials rose 3.5% on turnover of NIS 38.3 million, making it the most heavily traded share of the day. Over the weekend, Bloomberg news reported that billionaire Suleiman Kerimov and his business partners in OAO Uralkali may reach an agreement to sell their 33% stake as early as next week. The sale could defuse a dispute between Russia and Belarus after Uralkali withdrew from a partnership that had constituted one of two potash cartels, causing potash prices to tumble.
Global equity markets rose on Friday after Janet Yellen, U.S. President Obama’s choice to lead the Federal Reserve, signaled that the central bank’s simulative monetary policy would stay in place for some time. Yellen’s comments, interpreted as showing there would be no cut in monetary stimulus any time soon, sparked a rally on equity markets.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished 0.4% higher at 15,938.96 on Friday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index each gained 0.2% to 1,794.90 and 3,981.38., respectively. MSCI’s all-country world stock index rose 0.6%, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares gained 0.3% to close at 1,297.85.
In foreign currency trading, Yellen’s comment caused the dollar to slide to a one-week low against the euro on Friday. Against the shekel, its lost almost 0.4% to a Bank of Israel rate of NIS 3.5190. The euro also lost ground to the Israeli currency, sliding 0.25% to NIS 4.7339.
In the fixed income market, the government’s 10-year shekel bond edged up 0.07% to trim the yield to 3.53%. However, an unexpectedly high October consumer prices index of 0.3% doused prospects for another interest rate cut next week by the Bank of Israel. The government’s 10-year Galil bond, which is linked to the rate of inflation, rose 0.43%, cutting its yield to 1.41%.
The Tel-Bond 20, 40 and 60 indices rose as much as 0.5%. Kardan NV Series Alef bonds rose as high as 12% after it agreed to sell a 27.5% stake in GTC Poland to Lone Star Real Estate for 160 million euros to raise cash.
Africa Israel Investments finished the day 7.1% higher while its Series Kaf Vav bonds rose 1.7% in heavy trading. Lev Leviev’s holding company said over the weekend it would redeem some NIS 1.5 billion of its bonds early, by the end of 2016, in a move to save financing costs and give it more financial flexibility. The redemption is contingent on Leviev himself joining a planned rights offering.
Ham-Let, maker of industrial equipment, added 1.8% after turning in a third-quarter profit of NIS 1.8 million, reversing a year-ago loss of NIS 128,000. Revenues climbed close to 27%, it said.
Can-Fite, a developer of drugs to treat inflammatory and cancer diseases, jumped 11% after it said over the weekend that its American Depository Receipts had been approved for listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading is expected to begin Tuesday under the ticker symbol CANF.
Among the biggest losers in Sunday’s trading, semiconductor maker TowerJazz dropped 1.3%, OPKO Healthcare lost 1.6% and biotech company Kamada also 1.6%. Ceragon extended its losses following a poor third-quarter report last week, losing 3,9% Sunday.
Reuters contributed to this report.