Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Shekel, Bounce Back as Syria Crisis Fades

YERUSHALAYIM -

The silver lining in the war clouds over Syria were shining through on Wednesday, the second day of impressive gains in heavy trading that lifted the benchmark TA-25 index close to the 1,200 mark again, Haaretz reported.

The shekel also surged in trading against the dollar, which fell to below 3.6, as confidence returned to markets.

The TA-25 of blue chips rose 1.6% by late Tuesday, to 1,095.89 points, extending its 1.2% rise the day before as some NIS 1.63 billion in shares changed hands. The TA-100 was up 1.4% to 1,095.89.

All sectors were swept up in the rally, but bank and telecommunications shares led the field, with the TA-Communications shares up 1.9% at 695.69 and the TA-Banking index ahead 2.1%, up 1.133.73 by the finish.

Energy shares responded positively to news that Tamar Southwest is moving ahead with plans to conduct exploratory drilling, spending $122 million over four months. Ratio jumped 5.2%, Isramco 4.4% and Delek Group 3.8%.

In the fixed-income market, government bonds rose again on encouraging budget data from the Treasury released Sunday, showing tax collections running ahead of projections, spending lower than expected and the deficit narrowing in the first eight months of the year. The government’s 10-year Shahar bond rose 0.24%, cutting the yield to 4.032%. Its inflation-indexed Galil bond for the same term added 0.1%, trimming its yield to 1.9%.

“The dollar-shekel exchange rate has dropped sharply since the start of the week, losing some 4.5 agorot,” said a currency trader. “While the dollar is weak globally, its collapse against the shekel is unusual. This should be due to the Syria effect, which has created a lot of forex volatility locally in the last weeks.”

The trader said he anticipates the next support level for the dollar at NIS 3.585, but a resistance level of NIS 3.62 over the next several days. The Bank of Israel was watching closely and could intervene again if the dollar continues to fall.