Tel Aviv stocks are down 2.7% Sunday afternoon, after opening down 2.5%. The negative mood is attributed to a series of causes, such as the 2.1% Nasdaq drop on Friday, and the 1.1% rise of the January consumer price index. Further escalation in the fighting between Israel and the Palestinians isn't helping either. In addition, market sources expect that the Bank of Israel will next Monday raise key lending rates by 0.5%.

The Maof-25 blue chip index is off 2.7% to 425.3 points, and the TA-100 index is down 2.4% to 410.3 points. Technology shares are dropping 3.6%. Total turnover is low at NIS 96 million.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) is down 1.7% on the session's biggest turnover, NIS 14.7 million. Teva opened with 1.7% negative arbitrage spread. The firm last week reported $567 million sales for Q4, and net profit of $89 million before one-time charges, 54% more than in Q4 for 2000.

Bank Hapoalim is falling 1.8% despite being upgraded to a Buy rating by UBS, which set a price target of NIS 11.4, 31% above Thursday's closing price.

Bank Leumi is losing 2.1% on turnover of NIS 7.3 million. Market sources believe that the bank will be distributing NIS 315 million dividends. This is in line with the bank's dividends policy, to distribute 35% of earnings.

Partner Communications (Nasdaq, TASE:PTNR, LSE:PCCD) is slumping 5.1% on NIS 5 million volume. Partner opened with a huge negative arbitrage spread of 5.1%.

IDB group members are down, with IDB Holding Corporation dropping 4.2% on estimates that Kardan is to scrap plans to acquire control in the IDB group. Kardan is plunging 7.1% on NIS 221,000 volume. Market sources estimate that Kardan wants to reopen price negotiations on the deal.

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