Tel Aviv stocks drooping after negative expiry of August options

Tel Aviv stocks are drooping Thursday due to the expiry of August blue chip options and declines Wednesday on U.S. markets.

The Maof-25 index of record was set at 375.53 points, down 1% from the base index. Total turnover at expiry was NIS 315 million, moderate compared with previous expiry mornings.

The negative trend persisted after the expiry, with the leading indices sustaining losses of about 0.8%. Tech stocks are down after Nasdaq tumbled 2.5% on Wednesday. The Dow Jones ended down 1.5%.

Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI ) is surging by 2.7% against the trend on huge turnover of NIS 41 million, the highest on the market so far. The bank handily beat gloomy forecasts for the second quarter, netting NIS 223 million compared with predictions as low as NIS 160 million. Its net was, nonetheless, 30% below the parallel quarter of last year.

Arch-rival Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI ) is sagging by 0.7% on turnover of NIS 25 million. Unlike Hapoalim, Leumi's results released on Wednesday were a nasty surprise. The bank's net sank 80% from the parallel quarter, to NIS 77 million, due to climbing provision for doubtful debt. Analysts had expected that Leumi would earn some NIS 150 million.

Then there's Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT), which will be publishing its results later today. It is down 1.1%.

Holding companies are in the doghouse, with IDB Holding Corporation (TASE: IDBH) down 1.9% and its sister concern, IDB Development Corporation (TASE: IDBD), falling 2.1%. Discount Investment Corporation (TASE: DISI) is sagging by 2%.

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