Stocks rise for first time in days as global markets rebound

Israel's main stock index advanced for the first time in five sessions Tuesday, with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the world's largest maker of generic drugs, pacing gains.

SHARES TEL AVIV Israel's main stock index advanced for the first time in five sessions Tuesday, with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the world's largest maker of generic drugs, pacing gains. The TA-25 Stock Index added 1 percent, to 960.71 in Tel Aviv, as 19 stocks rose, five declined and one was unchanged. Investors bought and sold about NIS 1.4 billion in shares and convertibles. Teva gained NIS 3.50, or 2.4%, to NIS 152 after the Jerusalem-based company said it would continue selling its generic version of painkilling tablets OxyContin at least until the end of 2007, after settling a patent dispute with the Purdue Frederick Company, Teva said. Gazit Globe Ltd. increased NIS 0.62, or 1.2%, to NIS 53.22. Israel's second-largest property developer by market value said it plans to build shopping malls in Bulgaria. Gazit said Monday it plans to invest more than 200 million euros to build 15 to 20 malls over the next five years in Bulgaria. Israel Chemicals Ltd., a company that extracts minerals from the Dead Sea to make fertilizer, added NIS 0.52, or 2.1%, to NIS 25.79. Capital Research & Management Co., which runs the American Funds mutual fund group, will increase its stake in the company to 5.2%, Israel Chemicals said in a statement to the stock exchange Tuesday. Osem Investments Ltd. gained NIS 0.75, or 2.1%, to NIS 36.52. Investors holding shares in the food company controlled by Nestle SA on Tuesday qualify for dividends totaling NIS 100m. Super-Sol Ltd. advanced NIS 0.32, or 2%, to NIS 16.24. Israel's biggest supermarket chain said fourth-quarter profit rose 35% to NIS 42m. after the company bought competitor Clubmarket Marketing Chains Ltd. and boosted sales at outlets open for at least a year. The shekel and government bonds gained after a week of losses as a global rebound in share prices boosted investors' appetite for riskier assets. The shekel rebounded from Tuesday's three-week low, spurred by a slump in stock markets around the world that wiped more than $2.4 trillion from equity values. The yield on the 6.5% Shahar bond, due January 2016, slid 2 basis points to 5.34%. The price of the note, which moves inversely to the yield, added 14 agorot, or NIS 0.14 per 100 shekels face amount, to 108.64. WALL STREET US stocks rose for the first time in four days and all 10 industry groups in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed. The S&P 500 added 12.73, or 0.9%, to 1,386.85 in midday trade, for its best performance since November 6. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 86.76 or 0.7%, to 12,137.17 and the Nasdaq Composite Index increased 32.32, or 1.4%, to 2,373. EUROPE European stocks rose for the first time in six days. The Stoxx 600 added 0.9% to 359.69, the Stoxx 50 rose 1% and the Euro Stoxx 50, a measure for the 13 nations sharing the euro, added 0.8%. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index rose 1.7%, the most since January 12. National benchmarks advanced in all 18 western European market. France's CAC 40 rose 1%, Germany's DAX gained 0.9% and the UK's FTSE 100 rallied 79.80, or 1.3%, to 6,138.50 as all but eight stocks rose. ASIA Asian stocks snapped a four-day rout. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index rose 1.8% to 140.68 at 7:54 p.m. in Tokyo, the most since November 22 and its first gain since February 27, when China shares slid on concern the government would tighten investment controls. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 1.2% to 16,844.50 while the broader Topix index rose 1.8%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 2.1%. CURRENCY The yen traded sharply lower against higher-yielding currencies including the British pound, the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar, and the South African rand, as pressures on traders to unwind the so-called yen carry trade dissipated. Carry trades refer to the practice of investors borrowing in a low-yielding currency, such as the yen, and reinvesting in higher-return currencies and assets. In New York trading, the dollar was quoted at 116.48 yen, compared with 115.86 yen late Monday. The euro stood at $1.31093, compared with $1.3092. COMMODITIES Crude oil rose in New York as frigid weather descended on the US Northeast, increasing demand for heating oil. Crude oil for April delivery rose 18 cents, or 0.3%, to $60.25 a barrel in late morning action on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold for April delivery was last up $6.30 at $645.50 an ounce on the NYMEX.