TASE surprises: Closes up almost 1% after Knesset nixes economic plan - TheStreet

Traders were undoubtedly surprised by this morning's calm trading after the cabinet's economic plan failed to pass the Knesset last night. Dealing rooms expected sharp drops on the ensuing political turmoil and the firing of ultra-orthodox ministers and deputy ministers. But trading opened on mild drops and eventually climbed up into green territory on estimates the plan will pass tomorrow.

Market players do warn that if the cabinet fails to push its plan through Knesset on Wednesday, stocks are likely to react much more harshly, although this scenario appears unlikely at this time.

The Maof-25 blue chip index closed up 0.9% to 390 points, and the TA-100 also ended up 0.7% to 377 points. Technology shares climbed 0.7%. Turnover was NIS 311 million.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) provided a 2.7% rise and NIS 111 million in turnover after UBS Warburg yesterday upgraded the generic drugs giant from Hold to Strong Buy. The investment bank also raised its price target for Teva from $60 to $81.

Teva also advised the stock exchange yesterday that it has received Canadian authorities approval to market Copaxone, its treatment for remitting relapsing multiple sclerosis, in pre-filled syringes.

Baran lost 1.7% on the company's financials, as well as announcements regarding its activity in the U.S. The company advised the stock exchange of difficulties in negotiations to acquire Nasaq-traded O2Wireless, which has reported negotiations with other potential buyers. In addition, Baran cancelled plans to buy an American construction company for $5.1 million. Baran ended the quarter with NIS 10.2 million profits, in keeping with projections.

The IDB group traded up, as investors waited for Nochi Dankner to sign a buyout deal for the concern. If the deal closes, the cloud of uncertainty plaguing the company since the sale process began is expected to disappear.

Discount Investments rose 1.6%, and IDB Development gained 2.4%. Clal Industries added 0.5% to its value.

Bank Leumi closed down 0.2% with lively action on growing assessments that the government will not be selling a chunk of its 42% stake on the market this month. The share is expected to suffer pressure in the near future as the planned sale would bear down on its price, but postponement of the sale will delay the development ¿ and cause sharp price drops.

Bank Hapoalim closed up 1.2%. First International Bank managed to pick up 3.1% on publication of its Q1 financials, including a NIS 70 million loss, the in the bank's history. The bank made massive NIS 294 million provisions for doubtful debt in the quarter.

Lipman kept climbing, as has been its wont since publication of its financials last week, with another 2.4%. The company's CEO noted that plans to update growth projections after Q1 results were surprisingly good.