Teva surge lifts Tel Aviv blue chips index to strong gain Sunday

Stocks lifted by Wall Street gains on Friday, but investors worried about budget's future
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Israeli stocks sustained firm gains throughout the Sunday session, boosted by a backwind from Wall Street's Friday gains though when the rest of last week is factored in, Nasdaq fell by 4.3%. The Dow Jones on the other hand rose 3%.

A booster came from Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA), which clambered up on hopeful expectations of its financial statement, due tomorrow.

The Maof-25 index finished up 1.7% to 371.8 points and the Tel Aviv-100 index rose 1.4% to 356.8 points. The TelTech-15 gained 1%. Total turnover was pitiful at NIS 134 million an hour and a half before closing, as investors quivered at the thought of serious action in light of the conflicting indicators.

On the bright side, Wall Street rose Friday, but trade there has been turbulent. On the dreary side, although the finance minister is clearly serious about budget cuts, the rest of parliament clearly is not. MKs have firmly rejected the budget proposal Finance Minister Silvan Shalom tabled for 2003, which involves deep cuts to military and welfare spending. It will spark social revolution, warned a member of the Shas party, a member of the coalition.

Interest rates at least aren't playing much of a role. The Bank of Israel is widely expected to leave the rates unchanged for August at 9.1%,

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) surged by 4.1% on NSI 30 million turnover - not much for this most negotiable of Israeli companies (but a tremendous amount for any other stock) - on positive assessments of its financial statements, due tomorrow. The drugmaker is expected to report earnings of 62 cents per share, but market players believe it will handily beat the forecasts.

Partner (Nasdaq:PTNR) is also due to report this week, and rose by 3% on hefty turnover of NIS 3.2 million.

Other dual-listed stocks are mixed, with Scitex Corporation (Nasdaq:SCIX) down 3.8%. Among the gainers are AudioCodes (Nasdaq:AUDC), which climbed 8.4% after starting on a 12.6% arbitrage spread, and Elbit Systems (Nasdaq:ESLT), which gained 1.1%. Metalink (Nasdaq:MTLK) stayed steady as a rock at a gain of 9.4%.

Salt Industries, which belongs to the Dankner group of companies, caught attention with a huge 7.7% rise on relatively high turnover, for it, of NIS 600,000.

Harel5 stock, of the Harel insurance company, is also moving unusually fast today. It's up 2.5% on totally uncharacteristic turnover of NIS 7.1 million.

Sadot Oil Fields plunged by 16.7% after the company announced an NIS 10 million rights issue to shareholders, to finance a drill called Kishon Yam 1.