Bank Leumi sank and Teva surged as Tel Aviv stocks finished a volatile Thursday session with a negative bias.

Stocks swung on powerful conflicting influences.

The day began with the nation snarled in traffic jams caused by security checkpoints, but Tel Aviv stocks proved resilient not only to the deadly Hebrew University blast yesterday, but also Nasdaq's losses Wednesday night.

But losses only picked up in afternoon, as speculators reduced their positions ahead of the weekend the TASE is closed Friday. Futures indicate a negative day on Wall Street, and moreover, most people expect Israel to retaliate heavily over the weekend for the bombing Wednesday at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which killed seven people and injured almost 80.

Tel Aviv's Maof-25 index ended down 0.8% and the TA-100 index fell 0.7%. The Teltech-15 index retreated by 0.7%, dragged down by weighty dual-listed companies.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq,TASE:TEVA) climbed 2.8% on turnover of NIS 64 million, the highest on the floor. This week the Israeli drugmaker has gained 8% on its positive second-quarter financial statement, in which earnings beat the average forecast by a cool 10%. Ha'aretz wrote today that Teva is eyeing the purchase of an Indian raw materials supplier. Teva started the day on a positive arbitrage gap of 3.2%.

Bank Leumi lost 3.8% after a panel headed by director-general Ohad Marani decided that the state should sell a 6% to 7% share interest in the bank through the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Finance Minister Silvan Shalom says the sale should be carried out by mid-September.

The other banks were mixed, with Hapoalim down 2.1%, Discount rising by 1.1% and Mizrahi Bank losing 0.3%.

Makhteshim-Agan Industries sank by 2.6% on heavy volume of NIS 18.3 million, dragged down by the weakening Brazilian real. Yesterday the Brazilian real sagged to 4.45 to the dollar, 20% less than its rate of a week before.

Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) fell 3.5% after starting on a negative arbitrage gap of 2%. Yesterday Nice announced better than expected second-quarter results, and also that it bought its British rival Thales for $55 million.

Supersol (NYSE:SAE) finished down 1.4% and Blue Square Israel tumbled by 3.4%, after both retailers reported a tough second quarter. Blue Square Properties gained 0.2%.

Tower Semiconductors (Nasdaq:TSEM) started with 3% gains but weakened to finish with half that, a gain of 1.5% on paper-thin turnover of half a million shekels.