Tel Aviv-25 Index continues its retreat

Blue Square-Israel Ltd. declined 3.1%. The country's second-largest food retailer said second-quarter profit had fallen 53%.

SHARES TEL AVIV The TA-25 Index fell to the lowest in three weeks, dropping 15.72, or 1.7 percent, to 922.49 at the close Tel Aviv. Investors traded about NIS 1.88 billion in shares and convertible securities. Blue Square-Israel Ltd. declined 3.1%. The country's second-largest food retailer said second-quarter profit had fallen 53% as competition and the recession hurt sales. Israel Corp. retreated 5%. The holding company's Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. unit said it expects losses to increase in 2009. Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. fell 1.1%. Israel's third-largest lender by market value said second-quarter profit had slumped 19% as provisions for doubtful debts increased. Oil Refineries Ltd. slid 7.9%. Israel's largest refiner reported a second-quarter loss of $8 million after a profit of $71.4m. last year as the drop in fuel prices hurt the company's revenue. Orad Hai Investment & Holdings Ltd. surged 31%. The holding company said it would invest NIS 1m. to build solar-energy plants in Israel. WALL STREET US stocks retreated, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 Index down the most in a month, as investors speculated the global economy isn't expanding fast enough to justify the steepest equity market rally in seven decades. Equities in Asia and Europe tumbled. Intel Corp., which gets about 60% of annual sales from Asia, and International Business Machines Corp. fell at least 1.3% after economic growth in Japan trailed forecasts. Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. sank more than 1.9% in New York. ConocoPhillips slipped after oil fell 2.7%, while Lowe's Cos. slumped 8.3% on earnings that missed analysts' estimates. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 2.3% to 980.87 as of 11:06 a.m. in New York, with all 10 industries posting declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 195.89 points, or 2.1%, to 9,125.51. EUROPE European stocks dropped the most in six weeks as lower metals and oil dimmed the earnings outlook for commodity producers, foreign direct investment in China fell and Japan's economy grew less than economists estimated. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's biggest mining company, sank 3.2% as a gauge of raw-material shares led all 19 industry groups on the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index lower. Volkswagen AG retreated 9.9%, extending the two-day retreat for Europe's largest automaker to 24%. National benchmark indexes still slid in all 18 western European markets except Iceland. The UK's FTSE 100 declined 1.5% to 4,645.01. France's CAC 40 retreated 2.2%, and Germany's DAX slumped 2%. ASIA Asian stocks fell, dragging the MSCI Asia Pacific Index to its biggest drop in almost five months, on speculation economic growth in Japan and China will fail to meet investors' expectations. Sony Corp., the maker of the PlayStation 3 game console, and Nissan Motor Co., which generates a third of its revenue in the US, lost more than 3% in Tokyo as gross domestic product for the May-June period missed estimates. China's Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 5.8%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index declined 3.6%. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 3.1% to 10,268.61 even as a government report showed the country's economy grew for the first time in five quarters. CURRENCIES The euro depreciated 0.8% to $1.4091 at 2:28 p.m. in New York, from $1.4203 on Friday. COMMODITIES Crude oil for September delivery fell 76 cents to settle at $66.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures for December delivery slipped as much as $17.40, or 1.8%, to $931.30 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Comex division, and traded at $935.50 by 12:16 p.m. local time.