Tel Aviv: Coalition Crisis Driving Markets Down

Maof off 0.9%, banks in red

The moderate declines on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange turned down much more sharply, in light of the coalition crisis brewing after Labor Party MKs refused to support the government sponsored budget cuts in the Knesset Finance Committee this morning.

Profit taking on Wall Street yesterday after a week of gains also made its mark on the market today.

The TA-25 has lost 0.9% so far, down to 808.6 points. This is in comparison to its 816-point level on the eve of the Lebanon war. The TA-100 is off 0.8% to 825 points.

Turnover is NIS 490 so far, with over a quarter ? NIS 125 million ? concentrated in only one stock, Makhteshim Agan Industries (TASE: MAIN). Rumors say that Nochi Dankner, the new controlling shareholder in Koor is gathering up shares in the chemical giant. Nevertheless, the share is trading with almost no change in price.

Bond markets are stable. Yields on 10-year Shahar bonds are in the 6.44% range, while long-term index linked Galils are trading with 3.92% yields.

Dual traded shares are showing mixed results: Nice Systems  (NASDAQ:NICE) is up 1%; while Elbit Systems has moved into the red by 0.7% on turnover of NIS 23 million. This is after a 4.5% jump on Wall Street yesterday.

Teva Pharmaceuticals</a> (TASE, Nasdaq:TEVA) is rising 0.1% after dropping 1% on Wall Street yesterday to $34 a share, in spite of receiving approval yesterday for the marketing of Azilect also in Canada. The drug is for initial monotherapy in early Parkinson's disease.

The bank index has risen 3% since the beginning of August, with a drop today of 1.7% Next week Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) is expected to report its second quarter results, and traders took their profits today while snding the share down 1.7%. The share had risen 5% since the beginning of the month.

Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI)  has lost 1.4% so far on the second biggest turnover of the day. Both Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank (TASE: MZRH) and Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT) are down 2.6% and 1.4% respectively.

The real estate index has risen 2% since the beginning of the month.