TA-25 rises ahead of expected rate cut

Israeli stocks were higher in light trading Sunday as investors awaited the pending interest-rate decision by the Bank of Israel, expecting a second consecutive quarter-point cut from the current 5.25 percent benchmark rate.

By ROBERT DANIEL, MARKETWATCH
November 27, 2006 08:38
2 minute read.

MarketWatch: In-depth global business coverage Israeli stocks were higher in light trading Sunday as investors awaited the pending interest-rate decision by the Bank of Israel, expecting a second consecutive quarter-point cut from the current 5.25 percent benchmark rate. "Positive macroeconomic numbers and expectations for a [quarter-point] rate cut [Monday] and further cuts in the months ahead" are driving the market, said Richard Gussow, senior analyst at Excellence Nessuah in Ramat Gan. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's benchmark TA-25 index closed 0.46% higher at 919.49, the TA-100 was up 0.29% at 927.09, and the Tel-Tech 15 index of top technology stocks is 0.2% ahead at 383.46. The TA-25 and TA-100 are again near their records, 924.81 and 935.51, respectively, which were set on Thursday. The Tel-Tech topped out at 482.78 on January 20, 2004. The most-active issue is Bank Leumi, finishing down 0.1% at NIS 17.04 while accounting for some 4.6% of the total TASE volume of $242 million. That, in turn, is less than three-quarters of the exchange's average daily trading through October of $332m. Active within the TA-25 were Teva Pharmaceutical up 0.9% at NIS 141.7, telecom provider Bezeq up 0.8% at NIS 6.65 and Israel Chemicals up 1.3% at 24.35. TA-25 losers included two real estate firms, Africa Israel Investments, down 2.7% at NIS 292 and Gazit Globe, off 1.6% at NIS 56.1. The Tel Aviv Real Estate index fell 1.4% to 669.74. The residential and industrial builder Dori jumped 12%. The company said in a statement that General Electric would pay Dori €25m. for 20.9% of a subsidiary that focuses on residential building in Poland. Dori expects a capital gain of NIS 35m. on the deal. The Tel Aviv Finance Index added 0.72% to 1,172.49. Helping it along were four of the banks: Discount, up 0.9% to NIS 8.32, First International Issue 5, up 1.6% to NIS 53.35, Bank Hapoalim, up less than 0.1% to NIS 20.91 and Mizrahi-Tefahot, up 1.2% to NIS 31.15. On the losing side, besides Leumi, which is scheduled to report earnings later this week, was Union Bank, down 0.9% at NIS 20.88. Five major insurers also flashed green: Clal, up 2.3% at NIS 102.4, Direct, up 1.3% at NIS 18.55, Harel up 0.7% at NIS 216.8, Menorah Mivtach, up 0.5% at NIS 50.8, and Migdal up 1% at NIS 5.92. Active within the Tel-Tech were defense contractor Elbit Systems, up 0.9% at NIS 143.7, and Verifone, up 1.5% at NIS 148.2. MarketWatch: In-depth global business coverage


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