Market Report / Teva Drags TASE Down Almost 2 Percent

Few are the trading days on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in which one share attracts so much of the action or so dramatically impacts indices as yesterday. Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TEVA) shed a hefty 8.24 percent yesterday after opening on more than 4 percent negative arbitrage. The drug maker had lost 3 percent Wednesday too, despite the positive atmosphere prevailing on the market.

The Maof-25 blue chip index lost 1.8 percent to 368 points and the TA-100 fell 1.7 percent.The lively trade in Teva bumped turnover up to NIS 350 million for the session.

The most interesting detail in the lively trade in Teva was the huge turnover. Even the most veteran market players don't remember NIS 185 million turnover in a single share. Many are the day when the entire volume of a TASE session comes to less than yesterday's Teva trade.

Teva traded down further and further throughout the day. After the Tel Aviv market closed, the company continued its slide on Wall Street, losing another 5 percent in early trade there.

Teva is weighted at 9.5 percent on the Maof and TA-100 indices. In other words, a 1 percent change in Teva's price means a 0.95 percent change in those indices. This means that yesterday's Teva loss translates directly into a 0.8 percent drop, but Teva also has indirect impact on the market and when the pharmaceutical giant is weak, many other shares stutter too. Almost all the institutional investors, provident funds, advanced training funds and insurance companies have hundreds of millions of shekels in Teva shares, so if Teva doesn't recover, the drop will affect the returns they report in the future.

The second most-traded share after Teva, NIS 165 million behind, was Matav Cable Systems Media (Nasdaq:MATV), which fell 1.4 percent on an unusually high NIS 19 million turnover. Earlier this week, the cable television provider gained a sharp 5 percent on NIS 10 million turnover, also much higher than average daily volume in the share, a quarter million shekels.

The sharpest gain among the TA-100 was posted by Menorah Holdings, which gained 8.8 percent on NIS 6 million turnover. The share climbed 3.2 percent on Wednesday as well.

Nonetheless, yesterday's TASE slide didn't stem only from Teva. The Wall Street exchanges are losing value with every passing day, partially on ever-multiplying accounting scandals, and are at a five-year low. European markets are also responding to New York and taking serious hits the past few days. London lost 3.4 percent yesterday to reach its lowest point since the beginning of the year. Paris CAC index lost 3.5 percent and the Frankfurt DAX lost 2 percent while Amsterdam's main market fell 4.2 percent.

In the foreign currency market, the shekel continued to gain as the dollar representative exchange rate was set at NIS 4.715, 0.2 percent off Wednesday's official rate.

However, after the daily rate was set, the shekel lost some ground and traded against the dollar at NIS 4.733 in local trade, down 0.4 percent from the representative exchange rate. The euro also fell 1.1 percent in local trade today, but after the official basket of currencies rate was set, the shekel lost ground and the euro posted a sharp 1.2 percent gain.