Tel Aviv stocks reversed their negative morning trend and posted mild gains in the late afternoon before the close of today's trading. The rebound is believed to be due to rumors that left-wing Israeli Labor politician Shimon Peres is back in Israel's prime ministerial race. Elections are to be held on February 6th, 2001 and investors are reportedly nervous of a possible election victory for right-wing Likud candidate Ariel Sharon, whom they fear will interfere in the markets.

The Maof-25 index closed up 1.3% to 454.96, the TA-100 index ended up 1.1% to 445.6 points and the Tel-Tech index finished up 1.7%. Total turnover was moderate at NIS 250 million.

Shay Barak, manager of the General Bank's mutual fund division, believes today's fluctuations are due to the low volume of shares traded, saying that any change in an institutional investor's position could sway the indices.

Baran closed down 3.2% on an unusual volume of NIS 7.5 million. Yesterday the company announced its intention to fire some of the technical crews connecting satellite TV company YES's subscribers. YES has been slow to pay a NIS 50 million past-due debt. Baran is tired of waiting. Business relations between the two companies could be severed. Baran was up yesterday on news that it has been appointed as the contractor for the construction of Tower Semiconductor's ( Nasdaq:TSEM) new facility in Migdal Ha'emek. The project is worth an estimated NIS 170 million.

Metalink (Nasdaq:MTLK) started with a 10.2% arbitrage gap with Nasdaq, closed up 14%. The company announced it had successfully tested the inter-operability of its SHDSL technology with leading OEMs. The test took place at University of New Hampshire in the US. This means that the company s chips could in future be placed in the modems of most leading manufacturers. The IDB Group also did well today. Discount Investment's shares gained 1.7%, IDB Holdings was up 0.5%; IDB Development rose 1.1%; and Clal Industries gained 3.7%.