Tel Aviv stocks steady as US markets plummet

Israel is "a defensive play" after sharp declines on Wall Street; "The market will trade on [the] global trend but with lower volatility."

stock market good 88 (photo credit: )
stock market good 88
(photo credit: )
Israel's stock indexes reduced their losses at midday, but remained led by the banks and Teva Pharmaceutical. The benchmark TA-25 index was down 0.27 percent at 973.05, the TA-100 fell 0.47% to 970.22 and the Tel-Tech 15 index of top tech stocks shed 0.47% to 387.73. The TA-25 was down as much as 1.4% earlier on. Israel is "a defensive play" after the sharp declines on Wall Street on Tuesday, Leader Capital Markets' Daniel Rapoport said in a morning note. "With world markets on the slide, we note that Israel's low beta to [Europe, Middle East and Africa] and strong economic and corporate fundamentals are key factors for support. The market will trade on [the] global trend but with lower volatility." The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's benchmark TA-25 index showed 50% lower volatility than the Morgan Stanley MSCI EMEA Index in 2006, while the performances of the two indexes were similar, Rapoport said. Bank Hapoalim was the most-active issue, trading lower by 1.1%, and Bank Leumi was No. 3 on the actives list, down 1.3%. In between is Teva, which is off nearly 2%. The stock fell $2, or more than 5%, on Wall Street during Tuesday's sharp declines after the company said a study found that its Copaxone multiple-sclerosis treatment, "did not reach a significant effect on the primary endpoint of accumulated delay to disability versus placebo in the entire population of patients with primary progressive MS." But the drug "significantly delayed time to progression of accumulated disability in male patients in the study who received treatment versus those who received placebo." The biggest percentage gainers among the blue chips are Partner Communications, up 1.9%, and Verifone, the specialist in electronic payment solutions, up 2.4%.