Tel Aviv stocks ended Sunday down after a session characterized by see-sawing around the flatline on moderate turnover.
Stocks reversed slight opening gains, fueled by the quiet weekend and gains on Wall Street, to trade half a percent down at mid-day. Traders attributed the down-swing to the surprisingly high consumer price index for April, of 1.5%, and assessments of an imminent 1% interest rate rise.
But the terrorist attack in Netanya at 16:20 sent stocks reeling again shortly before closing. The Maof-25 index ended down 1.4% to 388 points and Tel Aviv-100 index fell by 1.1% to 376.3 points.
Tech stocks sagged badly, losing 1.6% to 226.3 points. Total turnover was moderate at NIS 176 million.
Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) and Koor Industries (NYSE:KOR) stood out with handsome gains against a desultory market. Rogosin debentures also attracted attention after the company announced it would not default on payments to bond-holders. The bonds ended the day with a gain of 47%.
Teva finished up 2.7% on the session's highest turnover, NIS 62 million, after starting on a 3.5% rise due to a hefty arbitrage spread with Wall Street. Investors are rewarding the drug giant for the FDA okay to market Torsemide, a generic version of the anti-hypertension drug Demadex, made by Switzerland's Roche.
Also, Teva's Argentine outfit Teva Tuteur said it will be marketing products of Immunomedics in Latin America.
Koor climbed 2.3% on turnover of NIS 6.8 million. The lift apparently came from its affiliate, ECI Telecom (Nasdaq:ECIL), which is reportedly negotiating to merge its unit Inovia Telecoms with a Nokia (NYSE:NOK) division. ECI and Nokia would hold the resulting joint company 50:50. The big bank shares started the day with gains but finished deep in the red, with Hapoalim losing 3.1% and Bank Leumi down 2.6%.
FIBI5 shares, of the First International Bank, also took a beating, ending down 3.9% on an acute profit warning the bank issued today. The bank admits it will be shifting to a loss in the first quarter of 2002.
An Israeli defense contract worth NIS 16 million, to upgrade tanks, lifted Elbit Systems (Nasdaq:ESLT) all day ¿ but it reversed to end down 1.4%, after starting the session on a 2%-plus gain.
The Osem food corporation fell by 3.2% on turnover of NIS 3.3 million.
IDB group stocks ended mixed after a morning in the red, with IDB Holding Corporation finished up 0.3%, IDB Development Corporation down 1% and Discount Investment Corporation shedding 0.4%.