TASE tumbles with global stock markets on China

Moody’s warns slowdown in growth could endanger coalition. BoI leaves with interest rate unchanged.

August 24, 2015 10:27
2 minute read.
Tel Aviv stock exchange

Tel Aviv stock exchange. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange regained ground on Tuesday after two days of savage losses that mirrored global markets.

The TA-25 index of the largest 25 companies on the exchange rose 2.58 percent to 1,609, while the TA-100 rose 2.92% to 1,400, though the market was still lower than a week earlier, when the TA-25 was nearly 7% higher.

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The TASE followed the paths of markets in the US and Europe that lost substantial ground on Friday and Monday, even as Chinese markets continued to plummet.

The S&P 500 has risen 1.37% by 2:06 p.m. in New York on Tuesday, the Dow Jones climbed 1.55%, the NASDAQ climbed 2.21%.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 closed up 3.09%. Those markets saw dramatic dips on Monday over worries that China’s economy was slowing significantly. The Shanghai Shenszen CSI 300, on the other hand, fell another 7.1% on Tuesday.

The fact that the Tel Aviv market followed the paths of US and European markets, even as China’s markets continued to drop, pointed to the closer linkage Israel has with Western economies, which still serve as its largest export destinations.

The rebounds also indicated a sense that markets in the West were, perhaps, due for a correction, but were not overinflated to the degree that China’s was. In the Dow Jones, for example, the price to earnings ratio on stocks, which is a common indicator of whether a stock is properly valued, had dropped from a peak around 19 back down to near its five-year average of roughly 16. In the UK, the ratio was also around its recent average of 14. In some Chinese markets, on the other hand, the ratio had reached closer to 60 before the stock market crash.

China lowered its interest rate by 25 basis points (0.25 percentage points) on Tuesday in an attempt to stimulate the economy and stabilize the falling markets.

But not everyone agreed on the nature of the stock downturn.

In a letter to its clients, Clarity Capital, a global investment firm based in Tel Aviv and New York, wrote that “Despite the fairly ugly price action of the last few days, we believe it is more likely than not that what we are now experiencing is a normal correction – more aggressive than the very mild ones we have had in recent years – but still a correction, rather than a significant turning point in equity markets, at least as developed markets are concerned.”

Others, such as finance professor Arturo Bris of the IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland, said it was the sign of worse to come.

“I am less optimistic and have long argued that China is now a major risk factor for the world economy,” he said, listing the massive economic challenges the country faces. “Markets are finally telling us that the party is over.”

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