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Big banks, Teva and IDB group lift TASE in mid-morning trade

But the market is half dead, as meager turnover attests

Tel Aviv stocks are sustaining gains at mid-morning on Thursday, lifted by the big banks and by Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA).

Trade opened with a whimper. The expiry of options on the Maof-25 index, usually a stormy affair, was almost silent this morning. The Maof-25 index used as reference for the options closed up 1.18% to 513.94 points, attracting turnover of some NIS 250 million before expiration. A quarter of a billion shekels is less than half the usual volume of trade for a Maof-25 options expiry morning.

With the expiration over, the Maof-25 is sustaining its gains and is up 1.1% at this time to 513.52 points. The TA-100 index is up 0.83% to 495.41%. Total turnover at this point is NIS 307 million.

Big banks stocks are rising strong on big turnover. Bank Leumi is rising 1.6% on the session's highest turnover, NIS 30 million. Bank Hapoalim is up 1.1% on NIS 26.5 million turnover.

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Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) is rising 2.5% after starting the day on a 2.9% positive arbitrage gap, on the session's second highest turnover.

Despite the positive trend on the market and a positive arbitrage gap of 1%, Koor Industries (NYSE:KOR) is dipping 0.4% against the trend. Koor shares have lost 13% this month. Traders point out that several institutional investors have recently given up their holdings in Koor, diverting their money to chemicals subsidiary Makhteshim Agan, which is now rising 0.6%. Makhteshim Agan has gained 10% this month, mainly based on assessments that the chemicals sector will pick up next year.

Another stock to drop this morning is Magic (Nasdaq:MGIC), down 3.6% on negative arbitrage gap of 6.8% following its profit warning for the fourth quarter.

After losing ground on Wednesday, IDB companies are today joining the general upswing. IDB Holdings is up 2.8% on NIS 12 million turnover, while Discount Investments is up 1.4% on NIS 20 million. IDB Development is up 1.9% and Clal Industries is up 0.5% on NIS 11.5 million.