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TASE gains another 3%, traders see bull market continuing

Teva is beating its arbitrage on tentative FDA approval of its anthrax antidote

Tel Aviv stocks are rising 3% Thursday mid-day. The Maof-25 index is rising by 3% to 491 points, the TA-100 index is up 2.6% to 476.6 points, and technology shares are rising 2.5%. Total turnover is high at NIS 262 million.

Blue chips have gained an aggregate 19% in the last two weeks, after the announcement of a 2% cut in lending rates.

Market players said that the present mood is reminiscent of 1999 when most shares posted sharp gains. The players estimate that a bullish market is ahead, but also expect to soon see sessions marked by sales.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) is up 1% on NIS 33 million volume of trade despite opening with a negative arbitrage spread. The company has received a tentative okay from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market generic versions of Bayer's anthrax antidote Ciprofloxacin in 250 milligram, 500 milligram and 700 milligram tablets, once Bayer's patent runs out in 2003.

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Koor Industries (NYSE:KOR) is rising 6% after its affiliated company ECI Telecom (Nasdaq:ECIL) closed up 12% on Nasdaq. Another Koor subsidiary, Clal Industries, is climbing 5%.

Drug maker Agis is rising 2.7% after being upgraded by Bank Hapoalim from Hold to Buy. Analyst Rakefet Levison set a price target of NIS 40, 16% above the market. Her comments are based in part on Agis drugs in the pipeline awaiting FDA approval.

Insurance company Phoenix 1 shares are jumping 6%. Talks to sell control in the company have reached advanced stages.

Bank Hapoalim is up 0.8% after a 2.5% climb on Wednesday. Bank Leumi is gaining 1.6% on NIS 26 million turnover, after rising 3.2% yesterday.

Partner Communications (Nasdaq, TASE:PTNR, LSE:PCCD) is up 5% on NIS 3.7 million volume of trade. Other stocks moving fast: Scitex (Nasdaq:SCIX) is rising 7%, and Industrial Building Corporation is up 3.2%.