TA-25 Index advances, paced by Africa Israel

Stocks closed little changed on Wednesday. Africa Israel Investments Ltd., a holding company and property developer, rose.

tase biz image 88 298 (photo credit: Bloomberg)
tase biz image 88 298
(photo credit: Bloomberg)
SHARES TEL AVIV Stocks closed little changed on Wednesday. Africa Israel Investments Ltd., a holding company and property developer, rose. Delek Group Ltd., which has interests in energy and real estate, led declining shares. The TA-25 Index added 1.38, or 0.1 percent, to 1,166.63 at the close in Tel Aviv. Investors traded about NIS 2.09 billion of shares and convertibles. The stock market was closed Tuesday for the Tisha Be'av fast. Africa Israel climbed NIS 5.10, or 1.3%, to NIS 414.60. The company is in negotiations to build several projects in five large cities in China, Yediot Aharonot reported Tuesday, without citing anyone. Delek fell NIS 20, or 1.9%, to NIS 1,048 shekels, after shares of American refining unit Delek US Holdings Inc. dropped 7% Tuesday in New York. "Independent refineries shares have risen too much," Leader & Co. Ltd., a Tel Aviv brokerage, wrote in an e-mailed note to investors Wednesday. Shares of the US unit were down 95 cents at $27.22 as of late morning trading in New York. Bezeq Ltd. advanced NIS 0.04, or 0.5%, to NIS 7.29. Israel's biggest telecommunications operator will nominate Shlomo Rodav, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd., as chairman of the board. "There was a need for someone to lead this huge ship and end the chaos around the new nomination," said Eran Jacoby, a Tel Aviv-based analyst at Leader & Co. Ltd. Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd., the world's largest maker of generic agrochemicals, dropped NIS 0.27, or 0.8%, to NIS 34.69. Falling prices of corn and higher costs for Brazilian farmers may hurt Makhteshim's products, Merrill Lynch & Co. wrote Wednesday in a research report. Radvision Ltd. dropped NIS 3.93, or 4.6%, to NIS 80.80. Shares in the maker of Internet phone video-conference systems will probably trade at $23 in the next 12 months, down from a previous estimate of $25, Oscar Gruss & Son Inc. said in an e-mailed report Wednesday, citing lower-than-estimated second-quarter earnings. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the world's largest maker of generic drugs, gained NIS 2.50, or 1.4%, to NIS 184.90. Wall Street Stocks rebounded from the worst drop in four months after profits topped analysts' estimates at Amazon.com Inc. and Boeing Co. Amazon.com, the world's biggest on-line retailer, rallied to a seven-year high on rising sales of electronics and jewelry. Boeing, the second-largest commercial-jet maker, climbed to a record after it said aircraft deliveries gained. The S&P 500 increased 4.88, or 0.3%, to 1,515.92 during late morning action in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 43.9, or 0.3%, to 13,760.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 7.02, or 0.3%, to 2,646.88. Stocks pared their gains as concern grew that companies' access to loans is diminishing. EUROPE Stocks declined for a second day after a drop in US home sales and disappointing reports from Volvo AB and Randstad Holding NV triggered concern economic and profit growth will slow. Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index slid 1% to 385.22 as 15 of the 18 industry groups declined. The Stoxx 50 lost 0.9% and the Euro Stoxx 50, a measure for the euro region, sank 1.2%. National benchmarks dropped in all of the 18 Western European markets except Greece. The UK's FTSE 100 fell 0.7% to 6,454.30 at the close, France's CAC 40 declined 1.4% and Germany's DAX dropped 1.6%. ASIA Stocks fell, led by Toyota Motor Corp. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., after the largest US mortgage lender said home-loan losses are increasing. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia Pacific Index lost 0.5% to 160.67 as of 6:09 p.m. in Tokyo, after rising 0.9% to a record Tuesday. Consumer stocks such as Toyota and raw-material producers including BHP were the biggest drags among the measure's 10 industry groups. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.8% to 17,858.42, and benchmarks in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore all fell from records. China's CSI 300 Index climbed 2.3% to 4,255.46, surpassing a record set June 19 CURRENCY The shekel fell to a Bank of Israel fixing of 4.2210 against the dollar, from 4.1933 late Tuesday. The dollar rose as US stock indexes advanced after profits topped analysts' estimates at Boeing Co. and Amazon.com. The dollar strengthened 0.73% to $1.3722 per euro during morning trading in New York for the biggest advance since March 5. COMMODITIES Crude oil rose for the first time in four days in New York after the US government reported a third straight weekly decline in oil inventories. Crude oil for September delivery rose 34 cents, or 0.5%, to $73.90 a barrel during late morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have climbed 12% in the past three months. Gold fell from an 11-week high in New York as the dollar gained the most against the euro in almost five months, eroding the metal's appeal as an alternative investment. Gold futures for August delivery fell $12.10, or 1.8%, to $672.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the NYMEX. A close at that price would be the biggest percentage decline since June 8. The metal touched a 26-year high of $732 on May 12, 2006.