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Tel Aviv stocks closed down 1.7% on Thursday after posting losses throughout the session. The negative mood was attributed to several factors: continued violence in the region, Nasdaq's Wednesday losses, and European exchanges that traded down much of the day.

On Wednesday evening, a Palestinian terrorist killed three Israelis in the Hamra settlement in the Jordan Valley.

The Maof-25 blue chip index closed off 1.7% to 447.8 points and the TA-100 index closed down 1.6% to 430.0 points. Technology shares dropped 2.4%. Total turnover was low at NIS 240 million.

Stocks were down 1.5% to 2.5% most of the session. The Maof-25 index only last week broke through the 450 technical resistance level.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) closed off 0.2% on the session's biggest turnover, NIS 18.7 million. Investment bank Nessuah Zannex today rated Teva a Buy. Analyst Haim Israel reiterated the $79 price target, 30% above market.

Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) closed off 0.1% after releasing improved results for the fourth quarter. In addition, investment house Salomon Smith Barney rated Nice an Outperform, setting $18 price target, and Lehman Brothers rated Nice a Buy, setting a price target of $19, 27% above the market.

The Israel Corporation closed down 5.1% on NIS 2.4 million turnover following reports that the Antitrust Authority is examining the oil distribution activity of Oil Refineries, where the Israel Corp. owns 26%.

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Electra Consumer Products closed off 5.1% after announcing it will post a $2.9 million provision in Q4 due to devaluation of the Argentinean currency.

Engineering group Baran rose 1.4% after announcing it has settled its accounts receivable dispute with satellite TV company YES, which will be transferring to Baran NIS 55.5 million.

Dual-listed shares closed down after opening on large negative arbitrage spreads. Alvarion (Nasdaq:ALVR) closed off 8.1%, completing an aggregate drop of 17% over the last two trading days since releasing its results for 2001. Tower Semiconductor (Nasdaq:TSEM) closed down 2.8%, Koor Industries (NYSE:KOR) dropped 2.2%, Metalink (Nasdaq:MTLK) fell 3.6% after opening with a huge negative arbitrage spread of 10.9%.

Bank Leumi closed down 1.4% and Bank Hapoalim dropped 1.6% on NIS 19.9 million turnover.

IDB group members posted losses of 2.5% in the average. IDB Holding Corporation closed off 2.8%, IDB Development Corporation closed down 2%, and Discount Investments dropped 2.8%. Clal Industries closed off 2.3%.

Israel Chemicals closed down 2.4%.

Clal Insurance and Migdal Insurance each slipped 1.4%.