Market Report / Stocks Inch Up on Thin Turnover

Tel Aviv indexes were green across the board yesterday with the exception of telecom stocks, but turnover was paper-thin at NIS 1.2 billion.

The benchmark Tel Aviv-25 Index started the day in the green, swung below the flatline and clawed back in a steep rally to close 0.6% higher at 1,209 points. The broader Tel Aviv-100 Index gained 0.7% to close at 1,095 points.

Not much direction was to be had from world markets. European indexes were mixed, though French banks agreed to give Greece more time to repay debt: French bondholders alone hold some $21.3 billion in Greek government bonds, AP reported yesterday. London's benchmark FTSE-100 index gained 0.4%. German stocks finished with a negative bias, and over in Paris, the session was interrupted by a glitch but the CAC-40 finished 0.3% higher.

Israeli blue chips were mixed. Real estate companies were strong: Azrieli Group gained 1.9% and Gazit Globe was the biggest gainer of the day, finishing 2.7% higher.

Israel Chemicals lost 1.4% on the day's highest turnover, nearly a sixth of the total volume of trade. Yesterday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decreed that the drowning Dead Sea hotel industry should be rescued by dredging salt from the bottom of the southern Dead Sea (and moving the salt to the northern part ). How much of that bill ICL will have to bear remains to be seen. ICL's parent company Israel Corporation lost 1.3% .

A sign of how thin trading had been was the volume of trade in the second-most active share in Tel Aviv yesterday: Bank Hapoalim, which gained 1.5% on turnover of just NIS 68 million.