Wed: Tension in north spooks market

Israel Chemicals fell on the day's biggest turnover, and Perrigo fell ahead of publishing its financials.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) fell today. The Tel Aviv 25 Index fell 0.83% to 1,176.67 points, the Tel Aviv 100 Index fell 0.97% to 1,047.59 points, and the BlueTech 50 Index fell 0.73% to 312.09 points. Turnover was NIS 1.05 billion.

Investors, already spooked by yesterday's announcement by Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer that he is resigning, were further frightened by reports that the Israel Air Force has been making sorties over Lebanon, and possibly even launched an air strike near the Syrian border.

After a strong start, the TASE turned tail in afternoon trading, ending the day with losses across the board, in line with losses on European markets and at the opening on Wall Street, after the Commerce Department announced that the US economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012, for the first time in over three years.

In the foreign currency market, the Bank of Israel set the shekel-dollar representative exchange rate at NIS 3.725/$, down 0.11% on yesterday's rate, and set the shekel-euro representative exchange rate at NIS 5.046/€, up 0.74%.

In the bond market, long-term Shahar unlinked shekel government bonds rose by up to 0.1%, and long term Galil CPI-linked government ranged between losses of 0.1% and gains of 0.2%. The corporate bond benchmark Tel-Bond 20 Index rose 0.08%.

In the stock market, Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL) fell 0.4% on the day's biggest turnover of NIS 172 million, and its parent company, Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO), also fell 0.4%.

Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq:MLNX; TASE:MLNX) rose 1% for the biggest gain among Tel Aviv 25 shares, while its high-tech peers on the index, EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. (Nasdaq: EZCH; TASE:EZCH) and NICE Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: NICE; TASE: NICE) fell 2.1% and 0.4%, respectively.

Perrigo Company (Nasdaq:PRGO; TASE:PRGO) fell 2.3% for the biggest loss among Tel Aviv 25 shares. Ahead of the publication of the company's financials on Friday, Leader Capital Market said that it expects a weak first half. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) fell 0.8%.

Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) corrected upward 0.5%, the day after the closing of the sale of the company by Scailex Corporation (TASE: SCIX; Pink Sheets:SCIXF), which corrected downward 4.4%. Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) fell 0.9% and Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) was unchanged.

The Banking Index fell 1.1%, with Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) down 1.1% and Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) down 0.7%. On the Tel Aviv 100 Index, the Insurance Index fell 1.4%, led by a 2.4% drop by Menorah Mivtachim Holdings Ltd. (TASE: MORA).

Babylon Ltd. (TASE:BBYL) fell 7%, after two days of gains. Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd. (TASE:SCC) rose 0.2%, after announcing that SpaceX Inc. will launch its Amos 6 communications satellite in 2015.

Mid-cap AudioCodes Ltd. (Nasdaq: AUDC; TASE: AUDC) fell 1%, after publishing its financials. Small-cap Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR; TASE: ALVR) rose 32.7% on reports that it was in talks to be sold.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on January 30, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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