The Wednesday TASE session is maintaining a mild downward trend, following the Nasdaq dips last night, and affected by escalating political tensions.

The Maof-25 is down 1.25%, the Tel Aviv-100 is sliding 1.2% and the Tel-Tech is losing a heftier 2%. Turnover is still light at NIS 60 million.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) is gaining 0.21% on a positive arbitrage gap, on NIS 6.7 million turnover.

Major banks shares are slipping. Hapoalim is down 1%, and Bank Leumi is dipping 1.2%, both on flimsy turnovers of about NIS 4 million.

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Delta Galil is losing 4.7% on announcing the Kmart bankruptcy will lead to a $3-4 million write off on Kmart's $6.4 million debt. Tower Semiconductor (Nasdaq:TSEM) is losing 1.4% and may be depressed further in spite of its successful $100 million funding round from institutionals who seem to believe the convertible bond is a better deal than the share because of its low conversion premium.

Partner Communications (Nasdaq:PTNR) is losing 2% on news the Dankner group was negotiating to sell its stake in Partner to Hutchison Whampoa, in order take the pressure off the Partner share, as the deal will be done off market. Polar Communication has already sold NIS 19 million worth of its Partner shares. Matav Cable Systems (Nasdaq:MATV) is rising 1.8% on NIS 1.3 million turnover.

Metalink (Nasdaq:MTLK) is down 5% on a negative arbitrage gap. The company will post its Q4 results tomorrow, showing a a sales increase to $1.7 million from $1.3 million in the previous quarter, but still a lower than its $7.3 million sales in the same quarter last year.

IDB shares are also on the decline. IDB Holdings is slipping 1%, IDB Development is down 2%, Discount Investment is shedding 2.5% and Clal Industries is falling 1.7%.

Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) is losing 1.17% on NIS 3.2 million turnover. The company today announced Britain's NATS (National Air Traffic Service) chose to install its voice recording systems, the NiceLog and the NiceCall in several airports nationwide. NATS provides air traffic control services to 14 airports in Britain.