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Leading Tel Aviv indices posted gains throughout Sunday's session. The Maof-25 index of blue chips rose by 2.57% to cross the 475 point support level, the TA-100 index climbed 2.48% to 462.25 points and the Tel-Tech technology index gained 0.8%. Total turnover was moderate at NIS 280 million.

The rises were fuelled by

Teva Pharmaceuticals

(Nasdaq:TEVA) and national phone company


. Teva jumped 9.3% on a NIS 55 million turnover, which was the session's highest. The shares opened on a positive arbitrage gap of 8.2%. The gain is attributed to Teva's announcement on February 8, 2001 that it had won FDA approval to market two generic drugs, one for high blood pressure and the other an anti-inflammatory.

Union Bank recommends the selective accumulation of stock

Union Bank analysts recommend investors make few changes in their equity portfolios in light of the high levels of uncertainty in the market. But the bank says holders of low equity ratio portfolios should begin selectively accumulating stock. The bank claims that certain stocks do appear attractive over the long-term and it points out that global interest rates are falling.

Union Bank economists point out that many investors are still waiting on the fence to see what kind of coalition government Israel's Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon will form, and what kind of economic policy he intends to set. They say that if Sharon's government passes the new budget bill and sticks to it, markets will gain confidence. Likewise, breaching a budget that has already been approved would be interpreted by the market as a bad omen.

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David Levi of Tamir Fishman explains that it is hard to pinpoint the exact reason behind today's market gains, but insists that the possibility of Sharon forming a unity government has helped, as have the low price of stocks.

Bezeq continued its correction efforts after having suffered a negative momentum since the year began. Its shares rose by 4.7% on a NIS 26 million turnover, despite the Hold recommendation given to the firm by the United Mizrahi Bank of Israel. The bank set Bezeq a price target of NIS 20.3 to NIS 22.3, which is 7% to 15% higher than the stock's market price.

Nice Systems

(Nasdaq:NICE) closed down 1% on a NIS 17 million turnover. The shares opened on a negative arbitrage gap of 6.9%. During the session, the shares lost 4% but managed to rally despite having been downgraded by the Union Bank of Israel (Igud) from a Buy to a Hold. Analyst Bernard Manor cut the price target from $28 to $14.5. Last Thursday, Nice plunged 15% after releasing a profit warning for its fourth quarter of 2000 and correcting its annual financial results. Nice also announced the dismissal of 220 workers, 100 of whom will be fired from its development center in Israel.

Bank Tfachot goes ex-dividend

Chemical company Makhteshim Agan Industries profited from a Buy recommendation from investment house Nessuah Zannex, rising 1.6% on a NIS 6 million turnover. The investment house also changed its price target for the stock to NIS 13.2, which is 30% more than its current market price.

Tfachot Bank reached an unusually high volume of NIS 7 million, with the stock closing up 2.2%, after it lost 1% at the opening of trade. The stock went ex-dividend today, giving away NIS 2.64, which explains the unusual amount of activity, but not the price gain.

Lipman climbed 4.6% on a NIS 1.5 million turnover. The company informed investors today that it would increase its activities in turkey. Lipman is to provide two Turkish banks with payment terminals for $2.5 million.

The oil sector, which was badly bruised of late, continues its recovery led by the Avner participation unit that jumped 8.2% on a NIS 2.5 million turnover. Isramco rose 6% and Delek Drilling went up 6.6%.

Retalix (Nasdaq:RTLX) gained 4.8% today. The company announced that StoreAlliance, which it controls, would buy out TradeNet from Discount Investments. TradeNet Provides Electronic Data Interchange in private networks for the retail chain market. Its price quote was 11.25% in StoreAlliance stock. Discount Investment shares rose 2.4% on an NIS 8 million turnover.