Market Report / Gas Stocks Fall on False Rumor

The benchmark TA-25 index gained 0.6% to 1,115 points and the broader TA-100 index rose 0.2% to 1,021 points.

Tel Aviv shares turned in a mixed performance on Wednesday, with blue chips ambling up on low turnover and gas and oil stocks tanking on rumors the Leviathan deep-water exploration was being abandoned.

Not so, the companies said, but this didn't stop the index from falling 2.6%. But that's better than the roughly 5% the index lost when the rumor hit the floor around noon. Ratio Oil Exploration, for instance, had been down 12% and closed the day with a loss of 7.9%.

The benchmark TA-25 index gained 0.6% to 1,115 points and the broader TA-100 index rose 0.2% to 1,021 points. All other indexes, with the exception of Oil and Gas, inched up or down. Total turnover remained slim - the norm these days - at around a billion shekels.

No direction was forthcoming from Europe, where markets closed mixed on a dull day.

Back in Israel, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has cast its vote: It's moving from the Nasdaq to the New York Stock Exchange on May 30. It will continue trading under the ticker symbol TEVA. In Tel Aviv, its stock lost 0.5% on Wednesday. Teva chairman Phillip Frost said in a statement the NYSE would "provide a state-of-the-art trading platform, as well as greater market reach."

Among the day's big movers was Aura Investments, which surged 33% on turnover of NIS 0.8 million. Its bonds gained 8.2% to 28%. Investors were evidently very relieved that the troubled company had received a takeover offer from its CEO Yakov Atrakchi, who owns a 40% stake. Atrakchi is paying NIS 3.5 million for the controlling interest in Aura and says he'll reach an arrangement with bondholders.

Nochi Dankner's construction company Property & Building lost 1.5% after reporting a NIS 435 million loss for 2011; it marked down the value of its land holding in Las Vegas by NIS 390 million for the year (in its third-quarter statement ).

Bank Leumi sold its 12.5% stake in clothing company Fox after seven years. The bank's stock gained 0.7%. Fox lost 4.6%.

The cellular companies rebounded from recent misery, with Partner Communications gaining 3.2% and Cellcom rising 0.8%.