Tel Aviv stocks finished Sunday with 1% gains, proving strangely resilient to the escalation of hostilities as the Israeli army entered into Palestinian-controlled areas.
The Maof-25 index gained 0.9%, after losing a morning gain but reversing again in the afternoon.
The TA-100 index rose 0.8%, while tech stocks closed with thin gains of 0.2%. Total turnover was very low at NIS 113 million.
Trade began today in newly-dual-listed AudioCodes (Nasdaq:AUDC). It lost 7.5% to close at NIS 10.6 on pitiful turnover of NIS 26,000. On Friday, AudioCodes lost 8.6% in New York, to close at $2.35, 4% below its closing price in Tel Aviv today.
As usual Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) led the list of lively shares. It closed up 2% on turnover of NIS 14 million. Investors are evidently anticipating that U.S. senator Charles Schumer will bypass Bayer's patent on anthrax drug Cipro and allow other drugmakers, including Teva, to make generic versions of the antibiotic. Bayer's patent only expires in 2003.
Second on the list of most-traded shares was agrochemicals maker Makhteshim-Agan Industries, which rose by 1.7% on NIS 5.1 million turnover after reporting that the U.S. is allowing it to market Rimon, its mammal-friendly insecticide in the States. Although confined to flower-growing greenhouses at first, once approved for wider use MAI sees it generating $10 million a year in America alone.
MAI parent Koor Industries (Nasdaq:KOR) closed off 0.2% after Yedioth today reported that it's in talks to sell Elisra. Both the parties Yedioth mentioned, Elbit Systems (Nasdaq:ESLT) and Tadiran Communications, deny that anything concrete is in the works. Elbit Systems closed up 2% and Tadiran Communications gained 6.1%.
The banks closed mixed. Bank Hapoalim lost 0.2% on top of last week's losses as certain foreign investors walked away. Leumi edged up 0.1% as the struggle to control it rages on. The Migdal insurance company and insurer Shlomo Eliyahu both have their eye on the bank, and have been picking up stock to bring their stakes close to 10% each. Migdal closed up 1%.
Bank Discount rose by 1.1%, Mizrahi Bank closed up 1.2%, and the First International Bank of Israel rose by 0.1%.
IDB group stocks today recovered from the so-called Scitex Corporation (Nasdaq:SCIX) effect. IDB Holding Corporation rose by 1.2%, IDB Development Corporation gained 1.8%, and Clal Industries closed up 0.1%.
Scitex pre-announced $35 million charges for the third quarter, its share of losses incurred by Creo. Scitex closed up 1.8%. Discount Investments gained 3% after Bank Hapoalim rated it a Buy and set a target price of NIS 137, 26% above its opening price.
Magal Security Systems (Nasdaq:MAGS) dropped 9.2% after opening with a huge negative arbitrage gap of 12.3%. Alvarion (Nasdaq:ALVR) lost 9%, Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) closed off 0.2%. Magic Software Enterprises (Nasdaq:MGIC) rose 5.4% after opening with a positive arbitrage gap of 7.1%, and Retalix (Nasdaq:RTLX) gained 2.5%.
Drugmaker Agis lost 1.2%. Israel Chemicals closed off 0.1%. Phone company Bezeq climbed 0.5% on NIS 8.1 million volume of trade. Food manufacturer Osem kept up its positive momentum of late, closing up 1.2%.