Market Report / Tel Aviv Stocks Tread Water in Wait for Bernanke Speech

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The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange were little changed Wednesday as investors waited on the sidelines before U.S. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke on his latest monetary policy plans.

The blue-chip Tel Aviv-25 Index closed 0.07% lower at 1,206 points. The broader Tel Aviv-100 inched up 0.03% to 1,089 points. Total turnover was a meager NIS 695 million – not unusual for the summer.

The index of technology shares gained 0.6%, while biomed shares dropped 0.5%. The Real Estate-15 shed 0.2%, as did the index of oil and gas stocks.

Trade was thin and noncommittal in Europe as well, held back by weak China trade data, as many investors waited for a fresh steer on the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy plans.

Light volume – just 64% of the 90-day daily average – reflected investors' reluctance to get too involved in the market before Bernanke spoke following the latest Federal Open Market Committee minutes. In Asia, the Nikkei fell while Hong Kong shares hit a three-week closing high.

Notable Israeli shares included Mellanox Technologies, which gained 5.2%. Elbit Medical jumped 16.5% after returning to regular trade from the watch list.

Consumer software company Perion Network climbed 12% after TheMarker revealed that it is in advanced talks to be bought out by Conduit Ltd. at a market cap of NIS 200 million. The stock had been trading in Tel Aviv and on Wall Street at a market cap of NIS 140 million.

With reporting by Reuters.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.Credit: Reuters

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