Tel Aviv stocks sustained 1% gains from Wednesday mid-day after starting on mild losses. The stock exchange largely ignored the drops on Wall Street Tuesday, but paid more heed to gains in European markets today, traders said.

Turnover was slim at NIS 187 million, as action picked up some momentum in the afternoon.

The leading indices ended up 1% to 1.1%, boosted by the IDB group holding companies, which surged on heavy turnover. IDB Holding Corporation shot up 4.8% on turnover of NIS 19.2 million and its sister company IDB Development Corporation climbed 5.2%. Discount Investments, another group firm, gained 3.8%.

The happy mood spilled over onto another group company, Clal Industries,m which may explain why it surged 3.6% on moderate turnover despite its soggy second-quarter report, delivered today.

Clal Industries, which is controlled by IDB Development Corporation, lost NIS 58 million for the second quarter of 2002, after netting NIS 2 million in the previous quarter. Yet its loss is 15% less than in the parallel quarter of 2001. It finished up 3.6% on moderate turnover.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA), which ended the Nasdaq session with an arbitrage gap of 0.9%, sagged by 0.1%.

Insurance companies are in the green, with Clal Insurance up 2% and arch-rival Migdal rising 0.5%.

Banks also traded with gains. First International Bank rose 3.1% despite disclosing widening provision for doubtful debt in the second quarter and a net loss of NIS 70 million. Bank Hapoalim rose 1.1% and Leumi edged up 0.5%. Bank Mizrahi gained 0.9%.

Tethys Sea group stocks are rising, after the state agreed that the group should carry out a pipeline project leading from its undersea Mari 1 reservoir to the shoreline. The project is worth hundreds of millions. Avner participation units climbed 4.5% and Delek Drilling gained 2.7%. Its parent company Delek Group lost 1%, however.

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