Market Report / Stocks Fall as Rockets Hit North

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The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange spent the first trading day this week in the red, and losses picked up strength as the session drew to a close. Exchanges opened in the red as Israel’s north was hit with a barrage of rockets fired at Kiryat Shmona and the Israel Defense Forces returned fire into Lebanon. There were no reports of injuries or damage in Israel.

The blue-chip Tel Aviv-25 index closed down 1.3% at 1,316 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-100 lost 1.1% to close at 1,195 points. Biomed shares lost 1.9%, while the Real Estate-15 finished off 0.3% and oil and gas shares dropped 1.3%. Total turnover was 708 million, about par for the course for a Sunday, when foreign traders are still on break for the weekend.

Shares on foreign markets had risen on Friday. European shares hit their highest level in five years as Germany’s DAX index hit an all-time record high. In Asia, shares in Tokyo gained slightly to close at their highest level in six years. Meanwhile, Wall Street is on the way to finishing its best year in more than 15 years, though few investors expect 2014 to be quite so bullish.

Israel’s largest banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, both dropped 2.3%, as the Banks-5 index shed 2.1%.

Other shares that lost ground yesterday included Opko Health, down 5%; B Communications, down 3.3%; Mazor Robotics, down 2.9%; and Compugen, down 2.7%.

Shares that gained included clothing chain Fox, up 3.7%; flavors company Frutarom, up 1.2% and Israel Chemicals, up 0.85% after the Russian ambassador to Belarus stated that the world’s largest potash cartel, between Russia’s Uralkali and Belarus’s Belaruskali, would be renewed.

With reporting by Reuters.

Hezbollah's Katyusha rockets in Lebanon also threaten Tel Aviv Stock Exchange indexesCredit: AP

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