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Maof-25 speculators, negative Nasdaq opening nudge the Maof-25 index down 1.5%

Turnover picked up slightly at NIS 200 million

The negative trend on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange dominated the session for the second day running today. Traders speculated that one of the factors nudging leading indices down was increased activity of Maof-25 speculators, ahead of the Maof-25 options expiration date, which occurs tomorrow. Another reason for falling rates were drops at opening on Wall Street.

The Maof-25 index went finished down 1.52% to 508 points. The TA-100 index went down a more moderate 0.92% to 491.28 points, while the Tel-Tech went down a sharper 1.85%. Turnover picked up slightly, and came to NIS 200 million.

Koor Industries (NYSE:KOR) stood out for finishing down 4%. Formula Systems (Nasdaq:FORTY) and Magic (Nasdaq:MGIC) also stood out for drops, in the wake of Magic's profit warning of last night.

Chemical companies, banks to regain prminence in 2001

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Bank Hapoalim analysts predict that marketing chains, chemical companies and commercial banks will regain prominence in the economy in 2001 as hi-tech loses some of its luster. The bank also says that with the passing of the election turmoil and the security threats the public will go back to investing in stocks in the second half of the year.

The factors supporting the projected rise of these three sectors are the efficiency drive underway among marketing chains; the expected rise of the pharmaceutical sector due to many patent expirations in the United States next year, which in turn will push forward the chemicals sector; and progress in privatization that will help banks increase the scope of their business. However, the bank analysts say, much depends on the resolution of the security-political situation.