Stocks: Israel stocks set records

Stocks traded at record levels Monday after the Finance Ministry raised its forecast for economic growth and lowered its projection for the cost of the war in Lebanon.

By MARKETWATCH
November 14, 2006 07:10
2 minute read.

 
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MarketWatch: In-depth global business coverage SHARES TEL AVIV Stocks traded at record levels Monday after the Finance Ministry raised its forecast for economic growth and lowered its projection for the cost of the war in Lebanon. The TA-25 index rose 0.65 percent to 919.67, exceeding a record 913.76 level set Sunday. The TA-100 is up 0.7% at 930.51, ahead of its record 925.98, set on November 6. The Tel-Tech 15 index of top technology issues is up 0.1% at 375.76. It topped out at 482.78 on January 20, 2004. The most-active issue was Teva Pharmaceutical, up 0.4% at NIS 135.5, while accounting for an eighth of total TASE volume of $369 million. That total in turn is 11% above the TASE daily average through October of $333m. "Investors are buoyed by the optimistic growth forecasts published by the Treasury," said Richard Gussow, senior analyst at Excellence Nessuah in Ramat Gan. The ministry sees 2006 growth of 4.6%, up from 4.3%, with the war knocking 0.7 percentage point off the figure instead of the 1 point it had seen previously. Partner Communications, the Israeli affiliate of the Orange cellular network and a member of the Tel-Tech index, edged down 0.02% to 50.02. It was reiterated "buy" at Israel Brokerage & Investments. Analyst Ori Licht raised his price target on the shares to NIS 54 from NIS 48. Strauss-Elite, a TA-25 stock, advanced 1% to NIS 45.82. It was initiated "neutral" with a NIS 52 price target by UBS analyst Joseph Wolf, who said the foods producer was well-positioned in the Israeli market and was now moving to expand into fast-growing overseas markets in South America, the US and Eastern Europe. The "neutral" rating reflects the stock's run-up; it's now up almost 16% since October 1. WALL STREET The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 37 points, or 0.3%, to 12,145 in afternoon action while the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 13 points, or 0.6%, to 2,402 and the S&P 500 Index gained 5 points, or 0.3%, to 1,385. EUROPE The German DAX Xetra 30 Index closed up 0.57% at 6,393.73, boosted by gains in Deutsche Telekom after a change of CEO. France's CAC-40 index finished up 0.8% at 5,490.56 and the UK's FTSE 100 index closed down 0.23% at 6,194.20. The Pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index gained 0.22% to 359.26. ASIA Asian markets ended mostly lower on growing concerns over the health of Japan's economy, though shares set another record in India. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 Index ended down 0.6% at 16,022.49 while the broader Topix index retreated 0.8% to 1,568.76. India's 30-issue benchmark Sensex index rose 116.09 points, or 0.9%, to end at 13,399.00, eclipsing a previous record close set Friday. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended the session 0.3% lower at 5,418.40. CURRENCY The euro was down 0.4% at $1.2804 and the dollar was up 0.6% at 118.19. COMMODITIES Crude for December delivery was down 74 cents at $58.86 a barrel in afternoon trade. Gold fell as much as $8 an ounce before recovering to stand down $4.10 at $626 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange in afternoon action. MarketWatch: In-depth global business coverage

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