TA-25 Index rises for the first time in five days

Azorim Investment Development & Construction Co. rose to its highest in a month, adding 5%.

TEL AVIV The Tel Aviv-25 Index rose for the first time in five days, adding 12.09, or 1.2 percent, to 1,009.25, as 19 members climbed, five dropped and one was unchanged. Investors traded about NIS 1.67 billion in shares and convertible securities. Trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange ended at 2:15 p.m. instead of 5:30 p.m. because of a labor union dispute. Alvarion rallied 5.4%. The maker of WiMax wireless broadband equipment said it would demonstrate the product it developed for the Japanese market at the three-day CTIA Wireless show that began Tuesday. Azorim Investment Development & Construction Co. rose to its highest in a month, adding 5%. The property and hotel company controlled by New York developer Shaya Boymelgreen said in a filing to the bourse late Tuesday that it had fourth-quarter net profit of NIS 54 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of NIS 3m. Delek Automotive Systems advanced 2.9%. Union Bank of Israel raised its share-price estimate for the importer of Mazda and Ford cars by 4.9%. Retalix climbed 2.5%. The maker of software for grocery stores said Food Lion LLC of the US had installed Retalix's transportation solution at its distribution center. WALL STREET The stock market posted its best start to a second quarter in 70 years after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and UBS AG said they were raising $19b. to replenish capital, spurring speculation that banks can weather further credit losses. Lehman rose for the first time in seven days and UBS sparked a rally in Europe on expectations that financial firms will recover from more than $200b. in mortgage-related losses. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 43.16 points, or 3.3%, to 1,365.86 at 3:11 p.m. in New York, rebounding from the worst quarterly performance since 2002. The index hasn't gained more on the first day of the second quarter since a 4.8% rally in 1938. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 377.14, or 3.1%, to 12,640.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 74.55, or 3.3%, to 2,353.65. EUROPE European stocks rose to the highest since February after UBS AG said it would replenish its capital by raising $15b. and investors speculated higher prices will lift profits for chipmakers. UBS rallied the most in two weeks on the plan, leading Credit Suisse Group and Deutsche Bank AG higher. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index added 3.3% to 316.07, rebounding from its biggest first-quarter drop since at least 1987. The Stoxx 600 fell 16% in the first quarter. The Stoxx 50 rose 3.7% and the Euro Stoxx 50, a measure for the euro zone, gained 3.5%. National benchmark indexes gained in all 18 western European markets except Iceland. The UK's FTSE 100 added 2.6% to 5,852.6. France's CAC 40 rose 3.4% and Germany's DAX climbed 2.8%. ASIA Asian markets were mixed as investors in Japan brushed off a dismal business sentiment survey to buy stocks on the first day of the new fiscal year. Hong Kong's market also rose, but stocks in mainland China plunged, sending the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index to its lowest point in nearly a year on worries about further monetary tightening. In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index rose 130.88 points, or 1.04%, to 12,656.42. New fund flows at the start of the fiscal year led investors to buy large caps in electronics and financial shares. CURRENCIES The shekel fell for a fifth day, dropping 0.2% per dollar to 3.5460, from 3.5400 on Monday. It has gained 8.9% versus the US currency in the first quarter of 2008, making it the fourth-best performer among 11 emerging-market currencies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It climbed to an 11-year high of 3.3531 per dollar on March 13. The dollar ticked higher against the euro, which bought $1.5610 in afternoon trading. COMMODITIES Gold prices plunged, tumbling below $900 as investors shed hard assets and sank money into stocks on hopes that the US economy may be emerging from a debilitating credit crisis. Other precious metals also fell sharply, with platinum plummeting more than $100 and silver and copper also trading lower. Gold for June delivery plunged $30.80 to $890.70 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier falling as low as $876.30 - its lowest level in nine weeks. Gold has fallen 5% in the last month and is down more than $100 from its record high of $1,038.60, reached March 17. The metal has sank as the dollar has steadied against the euro and crude oil prices have eased, diminishing gold's appeal as an inflationary safe haven. Crude oil gyrated, briefly falling below the $100 level before technical buy-orders kicked in and pushed prices slightly above break-even. Light, sweet crude for May delivery gained 82 cents to $102.40 a barrel on the Nymex, after earlier falling to $99.55.