Israeli stocks rose, paced by Israel Chemicals Ltd. after UBS AG raised its share-price estimate for the maker of fertilizers. Bank Hapoalim Ltd. led banks higher after Clal Finance Batucha Investment Management Ltd. lifted its recommendation on the industry to "buy" from "outperform."
The TA-25 Index added 9.38, or 0.9 percent, to 1,094.11 at the close in Tel Aviv, as 19 shares gained, five fell and one was unchanged.
Israel Chemicals, which extracts minerals from the Dead Sea to make fertilizers, climbed NIS 1.03, or 3.3%, to NIS 31.84. UBS lifted its price projection on the shares by 16% to NIS 37 from NIS 32.
Africa Israel Investments Ltd. plunged NIS 25.70, or 4.9%, to NIS 497.70, extending Tuesday's 2.8% decline. Shares of AFI Development Plc, which is 88% owned by Africa Israel, have fallen 11% since the Russian developer sold shares in London on May 3.
Dor Alon Energy in Israel Ltd. surged NIS 3.4, or 6.4%, to NIS 56.87. Shares of the country's second-biggest fuel company were rated "outperform" with a price estimate of NIS 60 in new coverage at Bank Hapoalim.
Elbit Systems Ltd. rose NIS 2.0 or 1.2%, to NIS 175.30. Israel's biggest non-government defense company's Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicle received certification from Israel's Civil Aviation Authorities, the Haifa-based company said.
Bank Hapoalim gained NIS 0.69, or 3.1%, to NIS 22.96, Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd., added NIS 0.30, or 2.2%, to NIS 16.95, Israel Discount Bank Ltd., the No. 3 bank, rose NIS 0.24, or 2.7%, to NIS 9.17 and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. climbed NIS 0.44, or 1.4%, to NIS 32.74.
The risk of investing in the shares should fall because the economy is "growing strongly," Clal Finance wrote in an note to investors Tuesday.
Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd. climbed NIS 0.44, or 1.5%, to NIS 30.48. Shares of the world's largest maker of generic agrochemicals were upgraded to "overweight" from "neutral" by HSBC Holdings Plc, which cited the company's program to lower production costs.
Nice Systems Ltd., a maker of digital-recording technology, declined NIS 3.90, or 2.5%, to NIS 151.10 after it reported first-quarter results.
"The shares have had a good run," Daniel Meron, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said by telephone. "It was a decent quarter and they reported good numbers on the top line but there was not enough there to extend the share rise further."
Nice shares traded in New York have risen 14% over the past month.
The shekel gained to a Bank of Israel fixing of 3.9740 per dollar from 3.9885 Tuesday. The currency rose to 3.9710 at 6:20 p.m.
US stocks rebounded after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged and noted that while economic growth is slowing, it still considers inflation the number one risk as it expects moderate growth to continue.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 43.48 points, or 0.3%, to 13,352.55 in afternoon trade, rebounding from weakness right after the Fed announcement. The Dow earlier hit a new record high of 13,369. The S&P 500 index gained 3.8 points to 1,511, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 2.9 points to 2,574.
European stocks advanced. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index added 0.2% to 390.64 at 4:30 p.m. in London, the Stoxx 50 advanced 0.5% and the Euro Stoxx 50, a measure for the 13 nations sharing the euro, rose 0.3%. National benchmarks climbed in 11 of 18 western European markets. Germany's DAX rose 0.5%, France's CAC 40 added 0.3%, while the UK's FTSE-100 closed flat at 6,549.60.
MSCI's regional index advanced to 150.02 at 7.12 p.m. in Tokyo, an all-time high. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 0.5% to 17,748.12, while the broader Topix index added 0.7% to 1,745.01, the highest in 10 weeks. Indexes advanced across the region, with benchmarks in Australia, South Korea, China, Indonesia and New Zealand reaching records.
The dollar edged higher against the euro after the interest rate announcement. The euro traded at $1.3530 and the dollar was at 119.92 yen.
Crude for June delivery fell 71 cents, or 1.1%, to close at $61.55 $60.83 on the New York Mercantile Exchange after a US government report showed crude oil supplies made their biggest clime since mid-January.
Gold futures for June delivery declined $4.90 to close $682.50 on the Comex division of the NYMEX ahead of the interest rate announcement.
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