TA-25 slips as Makhteshim projects loss

The benchmark TA-25 Stock Index shed 0.1% to 933.32, as 13 stocks dropped and 12 climbed. Investors bought and sold about NIS 1.67 billion in shares and convertibles.

January 17, 2007 07:34
3 minute read.

SHARES TEL AVIV Israel's benchmark index closed little changed. Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd. led declining stocks after the world's largest maker of generic agrochemicals said it will post a loss in the fourth quarter. The benchmark TA-25 Stock Index shed 0.1 percent to 933.32, as 13 stocks dropped and 12 climbed. Investors bought and sold about NIS 1.67 billion in shares and convertibles. Makhteshim Agan fell 1.1% to NIS 25.11. The Tel Aviv-based company said it will post a fourth- quarter loss of as much as $40 million, compared with a profit of $47 million last year because of ``weak conditions in the agrochemical market.'' Elbit added 1.9% to NIS 142.10 after its Cyclone Aviation Products Ltd. unit won a $6 million-dollar contract from a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin. Discount Investment Corp., a holding company, added 1.1% to NIS 120.20. Super-Sol Ltd., Israel's largest retailer, climbed 2.6% to NIS 17.55. Discount Investment is weighing the sale of its Super-Sol unit to a partnership of Canadian investors Matthew Bronfman and Yaakov Shalom Fisher. Ormat Industries Ltd., a maker and operator of geothermal power turbines, rose 1.6% to NIS 48.45. Ormat Technologies Inc., which is 69% owned by Ormat Industries, signed an option agreement to provide recovered energy to Basin Electric Power Cooperative. Ormat, a US maker and operator of geothermal power plants, stands to earn approximately $8m. in yearly revenue from the deal. Tadiran Communications Ltd. advanced 2.5% to NIS 174.30. The Israeli maker of communications systems received an order worth $20.5m. from Israel's Defense Ministry for communications equipment. XTL Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. Jumped 23% NIS 1.64, the biggest gain the company has ever posted. A unit of the developer of treatments for hepatitis C said it will license DOV Pharmaceutical Inc.'s Bicifadine drug for payments that may reach $126.5m. WALL STREET The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped from a six-year high, led by Intel Corp., on concern earnings at computer-related companies will fall short of expectations. The Nasdaq slipped 0.3% to 2,495.46 as of early afternoon trade Tuesday in New York, retreating from its highest close since February 2001. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 0.11 to 1429.06. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6% to 12,548.63. Markets in the U.S. were closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. EUROPE European stocks declined for the first time in four days after a slump in oil prices sent energy companies lower. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index declined 0.6% to 372.02 at the close in London. The Stoxx 50 fell 0.6% and the Euro Stoxx 50, a measure for the 13 nations sharing the euro, dropped 0.4%. National benchmarks fell in 15 of 18 western European markets. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 lost 0.8% to 6,215.70. Germany's DAX dropped 0.2% and France's CAC 40 declined 0.7%. ASIA Asian stocks rose after retailer David Jones Ltd. said holiday sales beat expectations and Goldman, Sachs & Co. told investors to buy shares of Japanese electronic component makers such as Murata Manufacturing Co. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index added 0.08 point to 140.29 at late trade in Tokyo. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average was little changed down 0.04% to 17,202.46. CURRENCIES The dollar touched a 13-month high against the yen Tuesday, after a media report suggested the Bank of Japan may hold interest rates steady this week. In late Tuesday morning New York trading, the euro stood at $1.2925, compared with $1.2950 late Monday. The dollar was quoted at 120.69 yen, compared with 120.43 yen, after earlier rising to 120.76, the highest level since December 12, 2005. The pound traded at $1.9603, compared with $1.9652. The euro fetched 156.03 yen, compared with 155.57 yen. See live currency rates. COMMODITIES Crude oil fell to a 19-month low in New York after Saudi Arabia's oil minister rejected calls for more production cuts. Crude oil for February delivery fell 2.9% to $51.48 a barrel at midday trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $51.15, the lowest since May 31, 2005. Gold futures for February delivery declined 0.4% to $624.50 an ounce at late morning trade on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. (News Agencies)

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