Tel Aviv-25 Index falls

Israel's cable-television monopoly, Hot Telecommunication Systems Ltd., said CEO David Kaminitz is stepping down as it declined 4.4%.

SHARES TEL AVIV The Tel Aviv-25 Index fell to the lowest in two weeks, dropping 16.50, or 1.5 percent, to 1,105.67. Investors traded about NIS 2.5 billion in shares and convertible securities. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange reopened Tuesday after closing Sunday and Monday for Shavuot. Hot Telecommunication Systems Ltd. declined 4.4%. Israel's cable-television monopoly said CEO David Kaminitz is stepping down. IDB Development Corp. fell 3.3%. The investment company owned by billionaire Nochi Dankner reportedly may be dropped from the TASE's benchmark indexes. Dankner and other controlling shareholders are said to own 78% of IDB's shares, 3% more than the maximum allowed under TASE rules for companies included in the TA-25 and TA-100 indexes. Ormat Industries Ltd. (ORMT IT), the world's second-largest producer of geothermal electricity, climbed 4.4%. Ormat produces alternatives to oil and benefits from an increase in crude prices. WALL STREET Wall Street pared its losses to trade mixed, as oil prices retreated due to a stronger dollar and the US government reduced its oil consumption forecast. The pullback in oil prices encouraged investors to return to the stock market - particularly the battered financial sector, which took a beating Monday after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss. US Steel Corp., the second-largest maker of the metal, and Newmont Mining Corp., the third-largest gold producer, slid the most since March. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. sent energy producers in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to the biggest retreat in three months as oil fell more than $2 a barrel. In early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 51.94, or 0.42%, to 12,332.26. Broader stock indicators were mixed, rebounding from steeper losses. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.29, or 0.09%, to 1,363.05, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 1.52, or 0.06%, to 2,457.94. EUROPE UK stocks fell to the lowest in more than two months, led by home builders after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said the housing market was close to its weakest in 30 years. Barratt Developments Plc and Taylor Wimpey Plc tumbled. Tesco Plc declined after the country's biggest retailer said first-quarter domestic sales growth slowed as soaring food and energy costs eroded consumer spending. The FTSE 100 Index dropped 50.3, or 0.9%, to 5,827.3, the lowest since March 31. The FTSE All-Share Index slipped 0.9% and Ireland's ISEQ index was little changed. Barratt, Britain's second-biggest home builder by volume, dropped to its lowest since July 1991, down 24% on investor concerns some builders may be forced to swap debt for equity to cope with a deepening housing slump. Taylor Wimpey retreated 16%, taking the loss in the past year to 84%. ASIA Asian stocks fell the most in three months as widening credit-market losses and the prospect of higher borrowing costs fanned concern earnings will decline. Shares in China plunged the most since February 2007. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 2.4% to 143.76 at 7:39 p.m. in Tokyo, its biggest drop since March 17 and the lowest level since April 15. China's benchmark CSI 300 Index tumbled 8.1%, with more than half of the measure's 300 members dropping by the 10% daily limit. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average retreated 1.1% to 14,023.17. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 2.8%, its biggest decline since March 20. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 4.2%. CURRENCIES The shekel fell as much as 1.4% versus the dollar to 3.3860, from 3.3403 on Monday, and last traded at 3.3880. The dollar rose to a three-month high against the yen and climbed versus the euro after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said economic risks have faded, spurring traders to boost wagers interest rates will rise. Against the euro, the dollar climbed 1.2% to $1.5469 from $1.5646 on Monday, the biggest gain since April 24. COMMODITIES Crude oil fell more than $2 a barrel as the dollar climbed against the euro and yen, curbing the appeal of commodities. Investors looking to hedge against the dollar's drop have helped lead oil, gold, corn and gasoline to records this year. Crude oil for July delivery fell $2.92, or 2.2%, to $131.43 a barrel at 1:28 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures, which reached a record $139.12 a barrel on June 6, are more than double the level of a year ago. Prices climbed $10.75 a barrel on June 6, the most ever, as the dollar weakened and amid threats of supply disruptions. Gold fell the most in a week. Gold futures for August delivery tumbled $16.80, or 1.9%, to $881.30 an ounce at 10:37 a.m. on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. A close at that price would mark the biggest percentage drop since May 29. Gold rallied 39% from September 17 to March 17, reaching a record $1,033.90, as the Fed slashed borrowing costs after a housing slump and a credit squeeze threatened to push the US economy into a recession.