TA-25 has 4th straight day of losses as global slide continues

Only 10 stocks in the TA-100 traded in the green, with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries a notable gainer after it was cited in two analyst reports.

By MARKETWATCH
March 6, 2007 07:22
3 minute read.
stocks down 88

stocks down 88. (photo credit: )

 
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MarketWatch: In-depth global business coverage SHARES TEL AVIV Stocks closed broadly and sharply lower on Monday with real estate hit hard. Only 10 stocks in the TA-100 traded in the green, with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries a notable gainer after it was cited in two analyst reports. The TA-25 index was off 1.42 percent at 952.03, the TA-100 was down 1.58% at 946.57 and the Tel-Tech 15 index of top technology stocks shed 1.24% to 378.51. This fourth straight day of losses on the bourse has left the TA-25 more than 5.1% off its record 1,003.69, set on February 19. "Israel is a small ship in very troubled waters [and as long as global markets are volatile], there's not much for us to do but follow them," said Avi Weinreb, a trader at Clal Finance Batucha. "The notable losers [Monday] were what had brought the market higher [previously], particularly real estate and specifically Africa-Israel Investments," which fell 4.2% to 354.7, he said. Teva was the most active issue, having traded down as much as 2% before finishing 1% higher at NIS 148.5. The company was initiated at "overweight" at HSBC, which set a yearend price target of $41. Analysts at the brokerage said in a report that the Jerusalem-based drugmaker "can deliver sustainable long-term [earnings-per-share] growth in the mid-teens, and [the] current stock price represents an attractive entry point." Teva was also listed by Citigroup as a member of a "correction basket" of stocks it recommends investors hold in case the current declines in emerging markets become a more prolonged slump. Weinreb said there also was some "bottom-fishing" in the banks, with Bank Leumi trading as low as 2.6%, then recovering to finish down 1% at NIS 15.05. "The banks have underperformed," he said. "But on a valuation basis, they now look pretty attractive. Israel's economy remains sound and there's a case to be made for the banks at these levels." Also included in Citigroup's correction basket is Bank Hapoalim, which fell 1.4% to NIS 19.22, and Makhteshim-Agan Industries, which fell 2.6% to NIS 24.60. WALL STREET US stocks attempted a fragile rebound in volatile trade, with investors putting money in the battered technology sector, even as the broad market remained under pressure amid fresh jitters in global markets overnight and concerns in the distressed sub-prime mortgage market. After dropping more than 70 points right at the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 15 points, or 0.1%, at 12,096, in afternoon trade. The S&P 500 was down fell 6.9 points, or 0.5%, to 1,380, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 16.5 points to 2,351. EUROPE European stocks dropped for the fifth consecutive session. The German DAX Xetra 30 dropped 1% to 6,534.57, the French CAC 40 fell 0.7% to 5,385.03 and the UK's FTSE 100 lost 0.9% to 6,058.70. European stocks had a particularly volatile session, getting hurt early on a rapid rise in the Japanese yen but moving off lows late in the day after early gains in US stock markets. In late trade, the Euro Stoxx 50 volatility index was up over 9%.The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 dropped 1.2% to 356.40. ASIA Stocks across Asia ended sharply lower, with indexes in Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore retreating more than 3% as investors reduced their exposure to the region following a weaker finish for US stocks at the end of last week. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index posted its fifth consecutive losing session. Toyota Motor Corp. and other export-related shares fell as the yen rose to a three-month high against the US dollar. The Nikkei ended down 3.3%, falling 575.68 points, at 16,642.25. Tokyo's broader Topix benchmark fell 3.4% to 1,662.25. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index ended 4% lower and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, a gauge of Hong Kong-listed shares of mainland companies, tumbled 5.1%. China's Shanghai Composite Index reversed early gains to end 1.6% lower. CURRENCY In New York trading, the dollar was quoted at 116.04 yen, compared with 116.82 yen late Friday. The euro stood at $1.3085, compared with $1.319. COMMODITIES Crude oil futures tumbled to their lowest level in nearly two weeks. Crude for April delivery was down 3.1%, or $1.89 at $59.75 a barrel in afternoon trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold for April delivery was down $1.60 at $642.50 an ounce. MarketWatch: In-depth global business coverage

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