The Tel Aviv-25 Index climbed the most in two weeks, increasing 12.53, or 2 percent, to 653.72 at the close in Tel Aviv. Investors traded about NIS 869 million in shares and convertible securities.
Brainsway Ltd. surged to the highest in four months, increasing 12%. The company that develops devices for neurological disorders rose after presenting mid-term results of a clinical trial for its device for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Cellcom Israel Ltd. fell 1%. Israel's largest cellphone company plans to fire dozens of employees in its human resources and engineering departments, Globes reported.
US stocks drifted between gains and losses as a rally in banks was snuffed out after the White House said the rest of the government's $700 billion financial rescue package should be used for consumers.
US Bancorp tumbled 14% after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advised selling shares of the Minneapolis-based company. Rohm & Haas Co. dropped 13% after saying Dow Chemical Co. does not intend to close its $15.4b. acquisition by Tuesday as required by their merger agreement.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped less than 0.1% to 831.75 after earlier jumping as much as 2.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 22.62 points, or 0.3%, to 8,054.94, erasing a 150.12-point advance.
European stocks rebounded from a two-month low, sending the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index to the biggest gain in three weeks, as Barclays Plc and ING Groep NV reassured investors they are taking steps to stem credit-related losses.
Barclays rallied 73% after saying "record revenue" would cover write-downs. ING climbed 28% on plans to slash costs in 2009.
The Stoxx 600 added 5.57, or 3.1%, to 188.06, the steepest advance since January 2.
National benchmark indexes advanced in all 18 western European markets. Germany's DAX increased 3.5%, while France's CAC 40 added 3.7%. The UK's FTSE 100 jumped 3.9% to 4,209.01.
Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.8% lower at 7,682.14. It was the only major market open in the region amid a slew of regional holidays. Markets in Hong Kong, mainland China, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays. Australian and Indian markets were also closed for national holidays.
The shekel was at 3.9750 per dollar at 5:48 p.m. in Tel Aviv, following the rate reduction, which was more than forecast by economists.
The dollar declined against the euro as Barclays Plc said it would not need further capital increases, diminishing the currencies' haven demand. The euro gained 1% to $1.3107 from $1.2975.
Crude oil was little changed amid speculation efforts by OPEC to trim production might not be sufficient to bolster prices. Crude oil futures for March delivery fell 7 cents to $46.40 a barrel at 1:42 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold rose to the highest closing price in almost five months in New York on speculation that government spending will spur inflation, boosting demand for the precious metal as hedge. Gold futures for April delivery climbed $13, or 1.4%, to close at $910.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest for a most-active contract since August 1.
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