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Shares closed higher, with the TA-25 index lifted by Africa Israel, Israel Chemicals and the banks, but held back by two high-profile decliners: Makhteshim-Agan and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.
Meanwhile, a Bank of Israel revision downward on the country's economic-growth prospects prompted more talk that the central bank might cut interest rates next month.
The TA-25 rose 0.44% to 823.76, the TA-100 tacked on 0.34% to 837.23, and the Tel-Tech 15 index of technology issues edged 0.09% higher to 352.64.
Makhteshim was the most active issue, accounting for more than an eighth of the volume on the TASE. Total volume on the exchange was $324 million, not far from the daily average through August of $334m.
Makhteshim Agan stock traded down 6.2% at NIS 21.18 after the company forecast a 45% drop in third-quarter profit to $26m. on flat sales. It cited difficult agrichemical-market conditions, particularly in Brazil, for the estimated drop.
Teva fell 1.6% to NIS 144.1.
Packer Steel jumped 6.7% to NIS 291.80. Africa Israel Investments, which has real estate and a number of other holdings, agreed to take control of Packer Steel, buying the Packer family's 23.53% holding for NIS 344.125 a share, or NIS 75.3m.
The deal would bring Africa Israel's holding in Packer to more than 57%. Africa Israel shares added 2.2% to NIS 255.3.
Discount Bank added 1.8% to NIS 8, Bank Leumi added 0.6% to NIS 16.5, and Mizrachi Tefahot advanced 1.5% to NIS 26.2.
US stocks pared gains Wednesday afternoon, as crude futures pushed above the $63 a barrel level and Verizon Communications turned lower after the company said it plans to spend $18 billion over four years on fiber services.
Earlier gains for Intel Corp., McDonald's and others put the Dow Jones Industrial Average within striking distance of a new high.
The Dow industrials were up 13 points, or 0.1%, to 11,682.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.74 points at 2,260 while the S&P 500 Index dropped 1 point to 1,335.
The mining sector returned to favor and Germany's E.On raised its bid for Spanish utility Endesa to $47b. on Wednesday.
The UK's FTSE 100 index closed up 0.9% at 5,924, the French CAC-40 index ended 0.5% higher at 5,243 and the pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index added 0.4% to 340.98.
Japanese and Australian stocks led a broad advance in Asian markets, as investors snapped up consumer, banking and commodity stocks. The Nikkei 225 Average ended the session up 2.5% to 15,947.9.
The Topix index gained 2.7% to 1,591.0.
The dollar touched a one-week high against Japan's yen and traded little changed against the euro. In New York trading, the dollar was quoted at 117.52 yen, compared with 117.12 yen late Tuesday. The euro changed hands at $1.2706, compared with $1.2688.
Crude oil for November delivery closed up $1.95, or 3.2%, at $62.96 a barrel, its highest level since September 18. (MarketWatch)