Despite the hostilities in the North, financial markets remained relatively stable, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange said in its monthly report for July. The benchmark TA-25 index fell less than 2 percent from the first day of the conflict to the end of the month of July, having recovered from the sharp initial drop after the start of hostilities. Summing up the month, the TASE said share prices were highly volatile starting from a rate of increase of 4.5% at the beginning of July to a drop of 8% at the start of the conflict. Influenced by positive trends on Nasdaq, which jumped 3.5%, and expectations of a positive turnout of the conflict, the share prices on the TASE began to leap again towards the end of the month. The general share price index rose 2.3% during July after falling at a rate of 6.4% in the first half of 2006, the Exchange said. The volume of trade in the bond market reached a new monthly high of NIS 1.7 billion, mainly due to an increase of trade in government bonds.