Tel Aviv stocks ended a dull day in the green, lifted from noon doldrums by a reversal to gains on European exchanges.
The Maof-25-index of blue chips closed up 1%, and the TA-100 index gained 0.7%. Tech stocks edged up 0.2%. Total turnover was moderate at NIS 271 million.
Tel Aviv's indices spent the morning hours hovering around the flatline. But the dullness abated somewhat after European markets reversed mild morning losses.
Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) lost 1.8% on heavy turnover of NIS 71 million after opening with a 3% arbitrage gap. The drugmaker has been hit by a double whammy: a lawsuit from Merck (NYSE:MRK) and a swipe at oral Copaxone.
Merck is suing to block it from selling alendronate sodium, the generic name of Fosamax, an osteoporosis treatment. Teva rebutted that Merck's patents are invalid.
Meanwhile, Investec Securities analyst Kobby Finkelstein wrote yesterday that the Danish company H. Lundbeck threatens to withhold further financing to test Coral, the oral version of Copaxone, unless test results in Europe (due within days) are better than the American results. Copaxone is used to treat relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis.
Koor Industries (Nasdaq:KOR) and Clal Industries were boosted by the relatively positive results ECI Telecom (Nasdaq:ECIL) reported for the third quarter. Koor closed 4.7% and Clal Industries gained 1.2%.
Elbit Systems (Nasdaq:ESLT) dropped 2.1% on NIS 13 million turnover. Market player attribute the spurt of action to fears that its plant in Nes Tziona, bought with El-Op, could go on strike on Sunday. El-Op merged with Elbit Systems in July 2000.
The First International Bank of Israel dropped 6% on NIS 5.6 million volume of trade following reports that an insurance agent of the Arieh Insurance Company is suspected of defrauding the bank of NIS 15 million. FIBI and other banks have filed a NIS 19 million lawsuit against the insurance company.
Bank Hapoalim closed up 1.4% after surging 1.5% on Wednesday. Market sources surmise that institutionals are picking up its stock.
Bank Leumi once again posted losses and closed down 0.3%.
Elron Electronic Industries (Nasdaq:ELRNF) climbed 0.2% after announcing that Elbit Systems (Nasdaq:ESLT) bought its security systems division for $5.7 million.
IDB group stocks closed with gains. IDB Development Corporation closed up 2.3%, IDB Holding Corporation gained 4.1%, and Discount Investment gained 2.7%.
Building materials maker Ytong, controlled by IDB subsidiary Azorim, closed up 5.3%. Ytong yesterday gained 7.7% after announcing an NIS 65 million dividend.
Phone company Bezeq corrected upward, ending with 3.6% gains on NIS 15.3 million volume of trade