Stocks rise, led by Elbit Systems on Boeing contract

The Tel Aviv-25 Index rose 0.5% to 880.52, the highest close since May 21. Investors bought and sold about NIS 1.2 billion in shares and convertibles.

By NEWS AGENCIES
October 24, 2006 08:48
4 minute read.

SHARES TEL AVIV Stocks rose to a five-month high on Monday. Elbit Systems Ltd., the nation's biggest non-state-owned defense company, paced gains after a unit won a contract from Boeing Co. worth some $19 million. The Tel Aviv-25 Index rose 0.5 percent to 880.52, the highest close since May 21. Investors bought and sold about NIS 1.2 billion in shares and convertibles. Elbit rose 2.5% to NIS 133.50. The company said its Cyclone Aviation Products unit won a contract from Boeing, the second-largest US defense contractor. Deliveries are scheduled for 2008 and 2009, it said. Africa Israel Properties Ltd., a property developer, rose 1% to NIS 187.90. The company signed an agreement to buy a 39,000 square meters property in Sofia, Bulgaria, for 5.2m. euros. Africa Israel Investments Ltd., its parent, rose 1.9% to NIS 280.80. Aladdin Knowledge Systems Ltd., a computer security company, dropped 2.8% to NIS 75.06. Aladdin said that third-quarter net income slid to $3.3m. from $3.7m. a year ago. Azorim Investment Development & Construction Co., a property developer, rose 2.3% to NIS 64.72. Azorim is in talks to acquire one of two units belonging to Delek Real Estate Ltd. in a cash and share deal, Delek said. Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd., a biotechnology company, rose 8.1% to NIS 1.05. The company has assembled more than half of the patients needed for the second phase of the clinical study it is performing to find a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Seikagaku Corp., a Japanese maker of chemical compounds for pharmaceutical use, said last month it would pay $3.5m. to Can-Fite to license its rheumatoid arthritis treatment, and an advanced payment of $500,000 for completing the first stage. El Al Israel Airlines Ltd., the country's largest carrier, advanced 2.1% to NIS 2.48. El Al has begun negotiations with its employees union over firings and other cost cut measures, it said in a statement to the exchange late Sunday. The airline will discuss reducing the number of El Al's permanent and temporary workers - there are 6,300 - cutting salaries and taking other steps to reduce employment costs. WALL STREET US stocks rose, led by consumer-related shares, as oil prices fell for a second day, bolstering speculation spending will continue to sustain the economy. Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, advanced after it said it would reduce spending next year, reducing concern that it's growing too fast to sustain profits. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.4% to 1,374.59 in late- morning trading in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.6% to 12,078.33. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.7% to 2,358.99. Wal-Mart jumped $2.50 to $5.189. EUROPE European stocks extended a four-week rally as oil prices declined, easing concern that central bankers will raise interest rates to fight inflation. Air France-KLM Group, Volkswagen AG and BASF AG led gains in airlines, carmakers and chemical producers, among the most sensitive to changes in energy costs. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index added 0.3% to 354.84 in the late afternoon in London. The Stoxx 50 gained 0.5%, as did the Euro Stoxx 50, an index for the 12 euro countries. Benchmarks rose in 14 of the 88 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 Index gained 0.2% to 6,166.1. Germany's DAX Index climbed 0.7%, as did France's CAC 40 Index. ASIA Asian stocks advanced to a five-month high on speculation companies including Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. will report higher profits. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index added 0.2% to 131.76 in evening trading in Tokyo, its highest since May 18. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.8% to 16,788.82. China Mobile Ltd., the world's largest cell phone operator by users, gained in Hong Kong after third-quarter profit climbed 23%. Honda Motor Co., due to report earnings this week, also advanced. CURRENCY The dollar gained the most against the euro in more than two weeks and strengthened versus the yen on speculation the Federal Reserve is more concerned about the risk posed by inflation than slower growth. The dollar rose to $1.2546 per euro before noon in New York, up from $1.2620 late Friday in New York. It also climbed to 119.30 yen from 118.73. The Japanese currency traded at 149.67 against the euro from 149.82. The US currency also increased 0.6%, the most in about two weeks, to 1.8717 per British pound from 1.8834. COMMODITIES Crude oil fell for a second day on skepticism that OPEC would cut production by as much as members pledged last week. OPEC, which pumps about 40% of the world's oil, said Thursday that members would collectively cut output by 1.2m. barrels a day to prop up prices. Crude oil for December delivery fell 1.7% to $58.31 a barrel before noon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have plunged 26% from the record of $78.40 a barrel reached July 14. Gold futures for December delivery fell 1.3% to $588.80 an ounce at mid-morning on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold has slumped 20% from a 26-year high of $732 an ounce in mid-May.(News Agencies)


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