TA-25 Index advances, led by shares of Kardan, Radware

The TA-25 Index gained 3.28, or 0.3 percent, to close at 1,040.77. Investors traded about NIS 1.43 billion of shares and convertibles.

September 11, 2007 08:11
4 minute read.


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SHARES TEL AVIV Israel's main stock index advanced on Monday, led by Kardan NV. The Dutch-Israeli company with holdings in real estate and financial services said it is in talks to sell a stake in its financial unit. The TA-25 Index gained 3.28, or 0.3 percent, to close at 1,040.77. Investors traded about NIS 1.43 billion of shares and convertibles. Kardan increased NIS 2.71, or 5%, to NIS 57. The company said it is in talks to sell 10% of its financial services unit to Israel Discount Bank Ltd., the country's third-largest bank, for a sum not yet agreed upon. Globes said Sunday that Discount was expected to pay $70 million for the holding in KFS and to extend the unit a $300m. credit line to expand operations in Russia and Ukraine. The paper didn't say where it got the information. Radware Ltd. added NIS 3.11, or 5.7%, to NIS 57.60, after RBC Capital Markets raised its recommendation for the shares of the company whose technology makes Internet networks run more efficiently to "outperform" from "sector perform." Tower Semiconductor Ltd. rose NIS 10.6, or 2%, to NIS 5.55. The maker of custom computer chips said it closed agreements with major shareholder Israel Corp. and Bank Hapoalim Ltd. and Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. for $60m. in credit. Tower will use the money to expand its Fab2 factory, the company said in an e-mailed statement. WALL STREET US stocks trimmed early gains, with investors cautious before next week's policy-setting meeting of the Federal Reserve, where the central bank is expected to trim rates after Friday's shockingly weak payrolls report. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 49.34, or 0.38%, to 13,064.04 after falling 250 points on Friday. The technology sector maintained some of its early gains, with Dow component Intel Corp. up nearly 1% after the chip maker lifted its third-quarter revenue guidance. The S&P 500 was off 6.94 points at 1,446.61, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 12.77 points at 2,552.93. Trading volume hit 314 million at the New York Stock Exchange, with declining stocks outpacing advancers 11 to four. At the Nasdaq, 495 million shares were exchanged, and declining stocks outpaced advancers by a ratio of nine to four. EUROPE Stocks fell after Washington Mutual Inc. of the US said the company may have to set aside more money to cover bad loans and the International Monetary Fund said it will cut its forecast for global growth. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index lost 3.23, or 0.9%, to 362.35 at the close in London. All 18 industry groups retreated except for utilities. The Stoxx 50 slipped 0.7%, while the Euro Stoxx 50, a measure for the euro region, slipped 0.6%. National benchmarks slipped in all of the 18 Western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 lost 0.9% to 6,134.10. Germany's DAX slipped 0.8% and France's CAC 40 slid 0.8%. ASIA Stocks fell the most in more than three weeks after the US unexpectedly shed jobs for the first time in four years and Japan's economy shrank. Toyota Motor Corp. led exporters lower while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. paced declines by Japanese companies reliant on domestic demand. Samsung Electronics Co. slid on concern spending will slow in the world's two biggest economies. BHP Billiton Ltd., the largest mining company, declined after metals prices dropped. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index fell 1.8% to 149.72 at 7:10 p.m. in Tokyo, its biggest loss since August 17. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 2.2% to 15,764.97. Posco, the world's No. 1 stainless-steel producer, led South Korea's Kospi index 2.6% lower. China's CSI 300 Index rose 1.6%, with Daqin Railway Co. surging by the daily trading limit after the government reiterated plans to modernize the country's rail network. Benchmarks also rose in Hong Kong and Pakistan. CURRENCY The shekel was little changed at NIS 4.13 per dollar. Last week it snapped five weeks of gains to decline 0.3%. The dollar fell to the lowest in a month versus the euro as traders bet the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates next week while the European Central Bank may boost borrowing costs by year-end. The dollar fell to $1.3811 per euro during morning action in New York, after earlier touching $1.3816, the lowest since August 9, from $1.3768 on Friday. That compares with the record low of $1.3852 reached on July 24. The US currency bought 113.78 yen, from 113.38. The euro traded at 157.18 yen, from 156.10. COMMODITIES Crude-oil futures fell more than 1% during morning action on the New York Mercantile Exchange, giving up some of their strong gains from last week, as traders geared themselves for a meeting of key oil-producing countries amid signs that Saudi Arabia is pushing for a boost in output. The Organization of Oil Producing Countries, or OPEC, meets on Tuesday. Calls have been heard in some quarters for the cartel to boost production to ease tight supplies. Crude for October delivery was recently down 86 cents, or 1.1% at $75.84 a barrel. Last week, oil gained $2.66 a barrel, or 3.6%, amid signs of dwindling gasoline and crude supplies. Gold futures climbed as much as $5 an ounce on the Comex division of the NYMEX, extending their winning streak from the previous week, as safe-haven demand again attracted investors to the precious metal. Gold for December delivery was up $3.60 to stand at $713.30 an ounce.

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