TASE indifferent to PA election

It was business as usual in Tel Aviv Thursday as the market reacted with relative disinterest to the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections. The TA-25 dropped 0.70 percent to 846.78 in the day's trade following the election, which analysts interviewed by The Jerusalem Post saw as more of an expression of individual companies' performance than on the effect a Hamas led government will have on the regions economy. "The market wasn't looking in that direction and was rather ambivalent to the news," said Avi Weinreb, trader at Clal Finance Batucha Investment Management. "People were skeptical either way and were uncertain over the prospects of the more moderate [Fatah] victory too." He added that some even saw the result as favorable since it would force Hamas into a more responsible position, and strengthened the justification for unilateral withdrawal. Another analyst said it was too soon for the market to show a strong reaction as there was no knowledge as to what Hamas' plans are. The market is back on its upward trend, recovering from the scare of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke which sent stocks sliding by 3.9% to 816.1 on January 6. In the two weeks since, it has bounced back by 4%. "The market recovered from the big drops induced by both Sharon's stroke and the resignation of Benjamin Netanyahu as finance minister last year," Weinreb said. "It has learned to deal with these risks. It did not care about the election."