Tel Aviv stocks closed Sunday with minusclue gains of 0.3%. The Maof-25 blue chip index closed up 0.3% to 417 points and the TA-100 index closed with 0.1% gains to 401.2 points. Technology shares dropped 2%. Total turnover was low at some NIS 145 million.
Stocks gained up to 1.8% at opening, which players attributed to the relative calm in the fighting in the region. The gains were also affected by reports of an understanding reached between senior Israeli and Palestinians officials, and that Israel would freeze its targeted assassinations of Palestinian terrorists, as well as air strikes against Palestinian targets. The reports said that the Palestinians would make an effort to curb terror.
But stocks failed to sustain opening gains, apparently because investors had come to realize that despite the reports, a dramatic development is unlikely.
At around 15:00 blue chips turned to losses following the cabinet decision that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would still not be allowed to leave Ramallah, after three months of confinement.
Elbit Systems closed down 0.7% on NIS 3 million turnover despite announcing it has won a Defense Ministry contract to provide radar systems to the Israel Air Force.
Bezeq phone company dropped 1.5% on NIS 10 million volume. Bezeq has dropped 7% since last Tuesday, when it said it expects its 2001 results will be negatively affected by the markedly steeper losses in wireless subsidiary Pele-Phone. Bezeq said Pele-Phone is expected to report one-time write-offs on capital equipment in Q4. Bezeq said this doesn't indicate deteriorated operations.