Tel Aviv stocks lost 2% on thin turnover of NIS 128 million following the sharp losses posed on Wall Street on Friday.
The session opened with leading indices losing 1.5%. The negative momentum picked up throughout the session but reversed shortly before closing.
At the end of the day, the Maof-25 index of blue chips lost 2.26% to 436.98 points, exactly where it stood two years ago in March 1999. The TA-100 index dropped 1.93% to 426.46 points and the Tel-Tech technology index dived 3.55%.
Players blamed the losses on the Nasdaq and on persistent fears that the dire security situation could get worse. Negative economic indicators published of late are not helping either.
Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) dropped 2.5% on NIS 14 million, the session's biggest turnover. Teva opened on a negative arbitrage gap of 2%. Investors were apparently not impressed by the Strong Buy rating Teva won from Banc of America. The analysts forecast that sales of Copaxone, used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, will grow at the expense of rival medications Avonex by Biogen, and Betaseron manufactured for Berlex Laboratories by Chiron Corporation. The bank granted Teva a price target of $77, 32% above the market.
IDB shares once again posted losses. Discount Investments closed off 5% on NIS 10 million, and Clal Industries dived 5.8% on NIS 3.7 million. The two companies have each lost 50% of their value since August 2000. IDB Development shed 3.3% and IDB Holdings dropped 1.7%.
A technical analysis of the group by investment house Infinity shows that the IDB stocks have lost 25% on the average since August 2000 and that the group is losing ground consistently. The IDB group consists of several big-cap companies traded on the TASE: IDB Development, IDB Holdings, Discount Investments, Clal Investments and more. Infinity says that the group, which constitutes a whopping 32% of the Maof-25 index, is nearing a critical support level, and that once it gets there it will be faced with an important test regarding its future. The investment house does not think that the downward trend is going to end soon, and that the group still faces a long way down.