The car-bomb blast in the north that killed at least 17 people and injured another 55, barely affecting Tel Aviv stocks in early afternoon Wednesday. Nor did the subsequent Israeli army actions in Jenin.
Stocks started down about half a point despite the news, which had the dollar rocketing up against the shekel in early trade. But the shekel stabilized after a couple of hours at about NIS 4.959 to the dollar.
By early afternoon stocks were down almost one point on dull trade punctuated by World Cup games. Despite the escalating regional hostilities, stocks ended the day with only mild losses of 0.4%. Turnover was low at NIS 174 million.
The Maof-25 and Tel Aviv-100 indices both dropped by 0.4% to 388.5 points and 377.3 points respectively. Tech stocks ended flat with a tiny negative bias.
The whole session was characterized by a dearth of interest, market players said - largely due to the Mondiale soccer competition. Trade happened in spurts between games. While little enough happened during the match between the United States and Portugal ¿ during the Germany-Ireland game the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange might as well have closed altogether, the source groused.
Nonetheless, Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) continued lively as usual. It began the day with a negative arbitrage gap of 1%, lost 1.1% at opening and finished down 1.4% on hefty turnover for this dull day of NIS 52 million.
The big bank stocks were also in the red most of the day, but ended mixed. Bank Hapoalim cut its losses to fall only 0.3% and Bank Leumi rose by 0.5%. Bank Discount shed 0.5% and Mizrahi slipped by 0.3%. Koor Industries (NYSE:KOR) also reversed mid-day losses to end on respectable gains of 1.2% on turnover of NIS 2.4 million, after today announcing that it has completed its debt rescheduling arrangements. Today it shook hands with Bank Leumi, which agreed to spread its $120 million debt over five years (leaving four years till repayment). The conglomerate already has debt-rescheduling arrangements in place with creditors Bank Hapoalim and the First International Bank of Israel.
Willy Foods soared by 22%, after seeing its mid-day peak of 31% erode, on turnover of NIS 115,000 as investors belatedly rewarded it for a Strong Buy recommendation it got yesterday from the Excellence investment house. Analyst Gilad Shimoni set Willi Foods a price target of NIS 34, a hefty 160% above its current market level.