The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has concluded another dull session today with mild dips of 0.4% in leading indicators on meager NIS 172 million turnover.

Trade opened with tiny gains of up to 0.3%. But by noon leading indices began to drop by similarly tiny margins. The mildly negative trend was sustained throughout the rest of the session. Even a positive opening on Nasdaq failed to pick up Tel Aviv stocks.

The Maof-25 index finished down 0.5% to 515.82 points, while the TA-100 index finished a tiny 0.25% off to 495.84 points. The Tel-Tech index finished down 0.39%.

Traders lamented today that the TASE is slowly disappearing and that there is no real market. The low turnovers seem to indicate that investors are glued to the fence awaiting developments in the political sphere, and for a trend to develop on Nasdaq.

The traders said turnover is so low it's hard to recognize a decisive trend, and it is lucky that the public exited the market before the April slump. It is apparently mostly institutional investors that are keeping the game going in Tel Aviv, and these investors have a vested interest in keeping the price of stocks from falling. But on the other hand, neither are they interested in selling shares, which explains the relative stability of the market.

The traders added that besides the record low volumes of trade, the market mood is determined by big players. The Maof players, for instance, pull indices in whichever direction they want.

Big banks were in the limelight today, with the session's highest turnover attracted by Bank Hapoalim at NIS 28 million. The stock finished down 0.3%. Bank Leumi dipped 0.4% on NIS 6.5 million turnover. Mizrahi Bank Bank lost 0.5% on NIS 3 million turnover. On Monday, the stock added 0.6% after Tefahot Israel Mortgage Bank announced the distribution of dividends totaling NIS 130 million. Mizrahi Bank has an 86% stake in Tefahot, and it will be getting NIS 112 million dividends.

Oil companies rallied today. Isramco's participating unit led the sector, adding 3.9% on NIS 3 million turnover. Avner's participation unit, which lost 20% of its value since the beginning of the month, leaped 8.9% on NIS 2 million turnover, while the participating unit of Delek Drilling gained 5.3%.

It should be noted that in off-floor deals on Sunday, Avner participation units totaled NIS 10.2 million at 25.5 agorot per unit, 20% higher than the unit's closing price on Monday. Also on Monday, Avner participation units stood out with 2.9% gains on high turnover.

The chemicals sector was strong during the Tuesday session, adding 1%, but toward closing the gains moderated. Traders said that shares in the chemicals sector are expected to benefit from the rallying euro, which is expected to positively affect the financial results of chemicals companies.

Israel Chemicals added 0.1% on NIS 5 million, and Makhteshim-Agan lost 0.1% on NIS 5 million, after posting gains most of the day. Israel Chemicals yesterday won an Accumulate rating from American investment bank

Merrill Lynch

. The bank believes that Israel Chemicals is an attractive investment channel, and that compared with other foreign chemicals companies, Israel Chemicals stock is traded at a low price.

Dual-listed shares mostly posted losses today.

Teva Pharmaceuticals

(Nasdaq:TEVA) shed 1.7% on NIS 13 million, and

Koor Industries

(Nasdaq:KOR) dropped 2.2% on NIS 8 million turnover.

Formula Systems

(Nasdaq:FORTY) lost 0.7%. But

Delta Galil Industries

(Nasdaq:DELT) added 3.9% despite opening on a huge negative arbitrage gap of 7.5%. Liraz Systems closed off 5.5%, completing an aggregate drop of 11% since its business in Israel was sold to

Electronic Data Systems

(NYSE, LSE:EDS) two days ago. The stock has been suffering from losses since the deal was finalized, despite the fact that the company is to post capital gains of NIS 55 million from the deal.