Stocks: Israel shares up, banks climb, Tower on a roll

Israel shares were higher in trading on Tuesday led by banks, but the real-estate sector took a hit.

By MARKETWATCH
October 11, 2006 07:58
3 minute read.

MarketWatch: In-depth global business coverage SHARES TEL AVIV Israel shares were higher in trading on Tuesday led by banks, but the real-estate sector took a hit. The benchmark TA-25 index rose 0.22 percent to 865.71, the TA-100 added 0.32% to 880.56 and the Tel-Tech 15 index of top technology issues added 0.55% to 362.62. The most-active issue was Bank Hapoalim, trading up 1.28% to NIS 21.37. Among the other banks, Leumi added 0.28% to NIS 17.61, Mizrachi Tefahot advanced 2.01% to NIS 28.4 and Discount tacked on 0.51% to NIS 8.47. Total volume on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange was $262 million, compared with the daily average through September of $335m. Other active shares within the TA-25 included fertilizer producer Israel Chemicals, down 1.55% at NIS 21.58, and Teva Pharmaceutical, off 0.53% at NIS 151.4. Ormat, a producer of turbines for electric-power plants and the parent of Ormat Technologies, was up 1.43% at NIS 43.95. Boosting the Tel-Tech index were broadband-network installer Alvarion, which jumped 7.12% to NIS 30.99, videoconferencing-technology specialist Radvision, up 4.46% at NIS 78.87, and Nice Systems, the producer of digital recording and archiving systems, up 1.61% at NIS 125.9. In tech and outside the Tel-Tech, Tower Semiconductor, an independent chip foundry, fired up a 6.69% jump to NIS 8.11 after gaining 10.4% Monday. The stock's been on a roll since the company closed a financing agreement with its banks and a key shareholder, Israel Corp., on September 28. Israel Corp., traded on the TASE, fell 0.75% to NIS 1,848. The TA Real Estate 15 index was down 1.21% at NIS 616.39. Actives included Africa Israel, down 2.31% to NIS 271, and Elbit Medical Imaging down 0.24% at NIS 122.6. WALL STREET US stocks drifted lower Tuesday after an economic report showing a larger-than-expected rise in wholesale inventories, but Google Inc. gained as analysts cheered its acquisition of video-sharing site, YouTube Inc. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 8 points at 11,849, hurt by declines for Procter & Gamble, DuPont and Pfizer Inc., among others. Of the 30 Dow stocks, 17 contributed to losses. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1 point to 2,311 while the S&P 500 Index was virtually unchanged at 1,351. EUROPE European shares traded higher Tuesday afternoon as investors picked up on some US-led relief on the direction of future interest rates while reacting favorably to recent management changes at aerospace group EADS and mobile operator Vodafone Group. The French CAC-40 index was up 0.4% at 5,305, with EADS gaining by 3.9% after it confirmed late Monday that Christian Streiff, chief executive of its embattled Airbus division, resigned after just three months on the job. The German DAX Xetra 30 index increased 0.5% at 6,113, the UK's FTSE 100 index rose 0.4% at 6,057 and the pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index moved 0.5% higher at 347.70. ASIA Asian stocks finished broadly higher Tuesday, with Japan's Nikkei nudging higher as investors looked beyond North Korea's claimed nuclear-weapons test to pursue blue chips Canon Inc., Toyota Motor Corp. and resource giant BHP Billiton. Japan's Nikkei 225 Average finished up 0.3% at 16,477.3. CURRENCY The dollar surged to a 10-month high versus the yen and an almost three-month high against the euro early Tuesday, on diminishing expectations of a Federal Reserve interest-rate cut soon and as traders flocked to the US currency for safety on concerns over North Korea's nuclear ambitions. In early New York trading, the dollar was quoted at 119.60 yen, compared with 119.12 yen late Monday. It had earlier risen to 119.68 yen, the highest level since December 14. The euro changed hands at $1.2532, compared with $1.2598, after falling to $1.2524, the lowest level since July 19. The euro fetched 149.92 yen, compared with 150.11 yen. COMMODITIES Crude futures fell Tuesday morning as traders continued to look for some clarity from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on its plans to cut production after several days of mixed messages from officials. Crude for November delivery was last down 62 cents at $59.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract had a choppy session Monday, closing more than $1 below its intraday high after OPEC failed to communicate its intentions. News that North Korea had tested a nuclear weapon kept a floor under prices. OPEC's indecision comes after a steep decline in oil prices from their highs above $78 a barrel in mid-July to below $60 a barrel today. MarketWatch: In-depth global business coverage


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