Market Report / Losses Narrow After China-inspired Drop

Tel Aviv stocks ended slightly lower yesterday after a volatile day that began in the shadow of the violent retreat in global markets the day before. The session began with losses that gained momentum through the first two hours. The leading indexes clawed back towards the flatline, only to lose ground again in the last hour and bounce back to end with mild falls.

Shanghai set off a worldwide retreat in share prices on Tuesday after its leading indexes tumbled by about 9 percent on suspicion that stocks had simply risen too high. Wall Street investors reacted sharply, sending down the Nasdaq 4 percent and the S&P-500 index by more than 3 percent. Yesterday Chinese markets rebounded by 4 percent, which may have heartened Israeli investors. But the other Asian markets and European exchanges lost ground nonetheless, dropping between 1 percent to 1.5 percent.

The TA-25 index lost 0.4 percent to 971.6 points and the TA-100 index fell 0.4 percent to 970.7 points. The Tel-Tech 15 index ended 0.1 percent lower. The banks also rallied, cutting their 1.5 percent loss to 0.3 percent. The Tel Aviv Real Estate-15 index gained 0.4 percent. On Tuesday, the leading indexes had fallen more than 2 percent.

Yesterday, almost all the dual-listed stocks began with negative arbitrage gaps. Generic drug giant Teva Pharmaceuticals (TASE:TEVA) had tumbled 5 percent on Nasdaq and dropped 2 percent on heavy turnover of NIS 211 million.

Elbit Systems (TASE:ESLT) overcame a negative arbitrage gap and advanced by 1.4 percent. Nice Systems (TASE:NICE) gained 0.1 percent on lively turnover of NIS 45 million.

Bank Hapoalim (TASE:POLI) eased 0.4 percent and Bank Leumi (TASE:LUMI) dropped 0.5 percent. Turnover in Hapoalim stock was the highest of the day: NIS 227 million.