A Quiet Day With Minor Losses

Trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange yesterday was stable for most of the day, with small losses in the leading indexes at the end of the day.

The TA-25 lost 0.1 percent to close at 1,124.75 points, and the TA-100 lost 0.2 percent to end the day at 1,113.96.

The market is now at the level at which it started June three weeks ago.

Real estate was the main factor leading the losses, as that index lost 0.7 percent. The banks index was also down by 0.3 percent. However, the mid-cap Yeter-30 stood out against the trend by rising 0.7 percent. Turnover was NIS 1.45 billion.

Bond markets continued to drop, as long-term Shahars and Galils lost up to 0.3 percent.

Since the beginning of the year the TASE has risen 22 percent - despite political and security events, drops in world markets and changes in the dollar.

June has been a more problematic month, with only the high-tech TelTech-15 Index rising, by 2.7 percent, while all the other leading indexes down for the month so far.

Real estate is down 3.8 percent so far in June, and banks are off 0.3 percent. Second- and third-tier stocks are also down.

In real estate Africa Israel (TASE: AFIL) lost 0.7 percent yesterday and Gazit-Globe (TASE: GLOB) was down 0.1 percent.

Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) was down 0.3 percent, and Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) lost 0.4 percent on NIS 64 million in turnover.

In dual-listed stocks, Teva (TASE: TEVA) lost 0.3 percent, and NICE (TASE: NICE) was off 1 percent.

Israel Chemicals (TASE: CHIM) had the day's second-highest turnover, after Teva, NIS 105 million, and rose 1.1 percent yesterday on news of contract renewals for larger quantities in India.

The dollar appreciated by 0.6 percent against the shekel in the Israeli foreign exchange market yesterday, rising to 4.168. Summing up the trading week so far, the dollar has weakened by about 0.5 percent against the shekel. In the morning, the shekel-dollar rate was flat.

In later trading, after the representative rate was set for the day, the dollar rose another 0.45 percent against the shekel to NIS 4.171. The forex market has become extremely volatile: from the start of May, the shekel has weakened by a steep 7 percent against the U.S. dollar. Zachi Eliash, manager of the forex and interest dealing room at Bank Leumi, says that fears of inflation and rising yields have calmed down overseas, which boosted emerging markets, including Israel. Yields on long-term U.S. T-bills sank from 5.32 percent to 5.14 percent, which lowered yields on Israeli government bonds as well, Eliash says. The shekel in response strengthened from NIS 4.236 to NIS 4.135 per dollar. Barring unexpected developments, Eliash expect the dollar to hover between NIS 4.10 to NIS 4.175.