Market Report / Stocks End Mixed on Thin Trading

Trading extremely thin at only NIS 513 million, even lower than this week's very low levels.

Stocks were mixed, but little changed Wednesday on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange - and trading was extremely thin at only NIS 513 million, even lower than this week's very low levels.

It seems that local and foreign investors have started their summer vacations early this year. Yesterday's volume was one of the lowest in years. But global markets were also somewhat quiet as Wall Street was closed yesterday for the U.S. Independence Day holiday - and this kept many foreign investors away from the TASE too.

After a positive opening, the major indexes spent most of the day within a very narrow range around where they closed yesterday. European markets were mixed with little change yesterday, with the TASE following their lead, after days of gains.

The blue chip TA-25 index was down all of 0.03% to close at 1,079 points. The broader TA-100 index rose by 0.02% to end the day at 988 points. But the TA-Banks index rose strongly, up 0.8%. The Real Estate-15 index lost 0.3% and has now fallen over 12% since the beginning of April. The TA-Technology index and BlueTech-50 indexes climbed 1.5%. The Oil and Gas Exploration index dropped 1.7% and the Biomed index rose 1.3%.

The TelBond large-cap corporate bond indexes were down slightly, by up to 0.1%. The TelBond-Shekel index rose slightly and government bonds rose by some 0.1% to 0.2%.

Bezeq fell 3%. Alvarion climbed 4.3% on news that the Fortissiomo fund had made an offer to buy control of the firm. Jerusalem Economic Corp. lost 2.7% and the Delek Group fell 2.5%. Given Imaging rose 4.3% and Mellanox gained 3.8%. Retalix rose 3%.

The dollar lost ground against the shekel yesterday, down 0.2% to a representative rate of NIS 3.918. The euro also lost ground against the local currency, off 0.3% to a representative rate of NIS 4.924. The euro fell against the dollar in global forex markets. European traders were waiting yesterday for today's announcement from the European Central Bank on interest rates. A poll of economists showed a majority expect the ECB to cut its main rate by 25 basis points to 0.75% today, while money market traders are evenly split on the matter, a separate survey showed.

Reuters contributed to this report.