Heartened by the possible suspension of Israel's anticipated military operation in the Gaza Strip, and the solution found for the standoff at Bethlehem's Church of Nativity, investors sent Israeli stocks up 1% on sluggish Sunday trading.
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange sustained 1%-plus gains throughout the session. But total turnover was thin at only NIS 101 million. Most of the activity took place in the afternoon. Mid-day volume was a tiny NIS 38 million.
The Maof-25 index ended up 1.1% at 386 points while the TA-100 index gained 0.9% to 373.1 points, slightly under its mid-day high. Tech stocks finished up 1.2% at 221.3 points.
Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) was the liveliest stock on the floor. It dipped 0.2% on turnover of NIS 23.9 million.
Bank Hapoalim reversed its positive morning trend and ended in the red, down 0.5% on turnover of NIS 28.7 million. Leumi gained 1.3% on NIS 5 million. The smaller banks, Discount and Mizrahi, ended barely in the green.
Among smallcap stocks textile company Macpell Industries stood out with a 70.6% leap on turnover of NIS 227,000, after its subsidiary Tefron published encouraging quarterly statement showing a net profit of $600,000.
IDB group stocks also ended in the green with IDB Holding Corporation slipping before closing to end up 1%, IDB Development Corporation rising 0.8% ¿ down from its midday high of twice that and Discount Investment Corporation rising 2.2%. Clal Industries is shed 0.2%.
Among dual-listed stocks, Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) finished up 2.2%, Formula Systems (Nasdaq:FORTY) gained 0.9%, Elbit Systems (Nasdaq:ESLT) rose 2.3% and Alvarion (Nasdaq:ALVR) finished up 8.2% after spiking at mid-day on a 12.4% arbitrage spread. Tower Semiconductors (Nasdaq:TSEM) on the other hand ended the session in the doghouse with a 2.2% drop.
Chemicals stocks were a favorite, with Israel Chemicals ICL finishing 2.7% higher, and Makhteshim Agan gaining 1.2%.
In the bond market, mid-range and long-term unindexed Shahar notes rose by 0.3%. Dollar-linked Gilboas dipped between 0.7% to 1.1% due to the weakening of the dollar in shekel-dollar options to a range of NIS 4.89 to NIS 4.90.