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Negative Nasdaq futures, weak European markets send Tel Aviv stocks down 2% Tuesday

Argentinian threats of debt default sent down Makhteshim Agan stock 4%

Negative Nasdaq futures and weak European markets sent Tel Aviv stocks down 2% on Tuesday. Total turnover was low at NIS 166 million.

The Maof-25 index of blue chips closed off 1.9% to 382.1 points and the TA-100 index dropped 1.6% to 369.3 points. Technology shares closed down 1.4%.

Agrochemicals company Makhteshim Agan tumbled 4.2% on big turnover of NIS 16.5 million. The dip could be due to Argentina announcing that it cannot repay its debts to government bond-holders. Argentina is one of Makhteshim's key markets.

Leading banks posted sharp losses, with Leumi losing 2.3% and Hapoalim dropping 2.6%. Mizrahi Bank closed off 1.8%.

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Bank Discount closed off 0.2% on NIS 2.5 million turnover. Yesterday Supervisor of Banks Yitzhak Tal agreed to exempt it from the directive to all banks, to increase provision for doubtful debt.

Phone company Bezeq closed off 3% on the session's biggest turnover, NIS 17 million. The drops are attributed to the agreement between wireless provider Cellcom and Ofek The New World to establish a joint company to compete with Bezeq in the domestic market.