Israeli stocks climbed to a record for a second session. Kardan NV, a Dutch-Israeli holding company, climbed the most in eight months after the nation's largest life insurer bought shares in the company's unit.
The TA-25 Index added 5.31, or 0.5 percent, to 1,061.93 at the close in Tel Aviv, as 15 shares advanced and 10 fell. Investors bought and sold about NIS 2.14 billion in shares and convertibles as trading resumed following a two-day public holiday. The benchmark index has gained 15% this year.
Kardan climbed NIS 3.48, or 4.9%, to NIS 74.92, the biggest one-day gain since August 13. Migdal Insurance Holdings Ltd. bought 62,569 shares of Kardan's Israeli unit, the Amsterdam-based company said in a statement to the stock exchange. Shares of Migdal rose NIS 0.15, or 2.2%, to NIS 6.94.
Al-Rov Israel Ltd. jumped NIS 8.70, or 5.6%, to NIS 165. A unit of the real-estate company is in negotiations to sell a mall in Netanya, Israel for NIS 344 million, the Tel Aviv-based company said in a statement to the stock exchange.
Bank Hapoalim Ltd. declined NIS 0.38, or 1.8%, to NIS 21.14. Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. fell NIS 0.17, or 1.1%, to NIS 15.69.
"Recent data strengthens our view of no growth in the Israeli banking system," Haim Israel, an analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. in Ramat Gan, said in an April 23 report. "In terms of real impacts, lower rates are likely to push down margins in the business sector."
The Bank of Israel lowered its benchmark lending rate by a quarter-point on April 22 after the market closed and signaled further cuts ahead.
Delek Group Ltd. rose NIS 17.90, or 2%, to NIS 922.20. The holding company's unit Delek US Holdings Inc. plans to acquire plants shed by bigger rivals to capitalize on high fuel prices, Chief Executive Officer Uzi Yemin said in an interview on April 23.
Given Imaging Ltd. surged NIS 5.29, or 5.9%, to NIS 93.99, the biggest one-day gain since October 22. The maker of a capsule camera for the small intestine received Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's approval to sell its PillCam SB in the country.
Partner Communications Ltd. rose NIS 0.81, or 1.3%, to NIS 64.27. A lawsuit was filed against competitor Cellcom Israel Ltd., Israel's largest mobile-phone company, over what plaintiffs said was an "unlawful" raising of tariffs, Cellcom said Wednesday. Shares of Cellcom were little changed at $19.88 in late morning trade in New York.
The shekel strengthened to a Bank of Israel fixing of 4.0290 against the dollar, from 4.0720 Tuesday.
US stocks gained, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 13,000 for the first time, after earnings from Amazon.com Inc. bolstered speculation that profit forecasts are too low.
The Dow industrials added 127 points, or 1%, to 13,081.04 in afternoon trade while the S&P 500 increased 14, or 1%, to 1,494 and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 25, or 1%, to 2,549.
The benchmark reached the 13,000 milestone 128 trading days after breaching 12,000, about 15 times faster than the prior 1,000-point advance.
European stocks rose for the first time in three days on increased takeover speculation.
The Stoxx 600 added 0.6% to 387.80. The Stoxx 50 gained 0.5%, and the Euro Stoxx 50, a measure for the 13 nations sharing the euro, rose 0.8%. The UK's FTSE gained 0.5% to 6,461.90, and Germany's DAX added 1% as did France's CAC 40.
Asian stocks drifted lower Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 closed 1.2%, or 215 points, lower at 17,236.16, and the broader Topix dropped 1.1%, or 18 points, at 1,687.34.
The dollar fell against the euro.
In afternoon trade in New York, the euro stood at $1.3636 compared with $1.3635 late Tuesday. The dollar was quoted at 118.69 yen compared with 118.58 yen. The British pound traded at $2.0027 vs $2.0014.
Crude for June delivery rose $1.26, or 2%, to close at $65.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold for June Delivery closed down 30 cents at $687.40 an ounce.