Market Report / Calm, Given the Situation

Contrary to expectations when war is hovering, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange did not overreact to the current security situation, but instead closed down on the day barely unchanged.

Throughout the trading day, the leading indices hovered around their opening marks, and with news of the first "news" of the day, the leading index fell by only 0.5 percent, and did not even drop below the psychological 400 point level.

At the close of trading, the Tel Aviv 25 had gained 0.08 percent to 400.85, while the Tel Aviv 100 barely moved, down 0.02 percent. The Tel-Tech index was more volatile, losing 1.2 percent on the day. Volume was relatively low at NIS 156 million.

Even the foreign currency market was calm and the dollar returned only to Monday's level after the representative rate of NIS 4.251 was set. This represented a moderate 0.24 percent appreciation for the greenback.

Investments by the Dovrat-Ofer group in ECI Telecom have affected the share's performance in New York over the past few days, with sharp falls registered by both Koor and ECI. (See full story on page 6). UBS Warburg also reacted negatively to the new investors. Koor gave an interesting performance on the exchange yesterday. The share opened with a negative arbitrage gap of 3 percent with New York, and until midday, traded down by up to 4 percent. When the news came out that Nortel's David Ball would be taking Jonathan Kolber's place at the head of ECI, Koor's share jumped and closed the day down by 1.3 percent on high turnover of NIS 15 million.

Elbit Systems' share value has fallen by 10 percent over the past month, but yesterday it had a second straight strong showing, closing up 2.2 percent. The defense company had reported sharp gains since September 11, and yesterday the share went ex-dividend.

Among the mid-caps, Elite confectionery company stood out yesterday. Despite some heavy share buyback by Michael Strauss, the share slipped 1.9 percent. Strauss's purchase of NIS 16 million of Elite shares was reported only yesterday.

Metalink registered a phenomenal jump of 100 percent in its share value in November. Yesterday, however, the company lost 7.7 percent of its market value.

Following the sale of 15 percent of Electronics Line shares by controlling shareholders, the company posted the second sharpest drop for a TA100 share yesterday, falling 5.2 percent.