TASE hits 11-month high

Barclays Capital sees the shekel testing the NIS 3.70/$ level.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) rally continued today, to reach an 11-month high, following gains on Wall Street in recent weeks. By early afternoon, the Tel Aviv 25 Index was up 2.1% to 970 points, the Tel Aviv 100 Index was up 2.2% to 904 points. Sector indices are also climbing, led by a 4.3% gain by the Real Estate 15 Index and 3.7% gain by the Banking Index. The Tel-Tech Index was up 1.7%.

22 of Tel Aviv 25 shares were up, lead by an 8.3% gain by Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. (TASE:AFIL; Pink Sheets:AFIVY) and a 6% gain by Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT). NICE Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: NICE; TASE: NICE) is down 1.4%.

Technology stocks were mixed, ranging from a 9.7% gain by Given Imaging Ltd. (Nasdaq: GIVN; TASE: GIVN) to a 3.5% drop by Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR; TASE: ALVR).

Barclays Capital noted that both the TASE and the shekel broke through important resistance levels last week as they continued their strength of recent weeks. Noting that the TASE rally preceded the shekel rally, the investment house predicts that the Tel Aviv 25 Index will reach 1,020 points, a level last seen on September 10, 2008, and that the shekel-dollar exchange rate will fall to NIS 3.70/$.

Another firm, HSBC, advises investors to continue their exposure to the TASE, with a focus on defensive stocks: banks, communications, and pharmaceuticals.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 2, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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