Israeli stocks traded in New York fell, sending an index of the largest companies lower for the first time in 10 days, on concern Europe’s debt crisis will spread and as U.S. lawmakers failed to agree on a plan to cut the deficit.
The Bloomberg Israel-US 25 Index of Israeli-based companies traded in New York fell 0.9 percent yesterday to 621.17, the first decline since June 24. Hadera Paper Ltd. (HAP), a manufacturer of paper and paper products, led declines, dropping 5.4 percent. SodaStream International Ltd. (SODA), a producer of homemade soda machines, retreated 3.7 percent.
Stocks dropped worldwide as European finance chiefs clashed over how to dig Greece out of its financial hole and markets battered the bonds of Spain and Italy, opening a new front in the debt crisis. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted its biggest two-day drop in a month, Spanish 10-year bond yields topped 6 percent for the first time since 1997 and U.S. Treasuries rallied as investors sought the safest assets.
“The overall sentiment in the market is pulling everything down,” Jay Srivatsa, the managing director of Chardan Capital Markets LLC, said by telephone from New York. “I would look at this as an opportunity to buy some of these names. As we get into earning season we’ll see some of the Israeli companies putting out good numbers.”
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (CHKP), the world’s second- largest network-security company, will probably report second- quarter adjusted earnings of 66 cents a share on July 18, according to the median estimate of 23 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Israel, whose population of 7.7 million is similar to Switzerland’s, has 58 companies traded on the Nasdaq, the most of any country outside the U.S. after China. It is also home to the largest number of startup companies per capita in the world.
Israel’s benchmark TA-25 Index fell 1.7 percent yesterday, the most in two weeks, to 1,247.38. The Tel Aviv measure has lost 6 percent this year, or 3.2 percent in dollar terms, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The Bloomberg Israel-US 25 Index is down 1.1 percent this year.
Israel’s stock market was upgraded to developed market status by MSCI Inc. in May last year, the same month the 63- year-old country was accepted to the Organization for Economic Cooperation.
The shekel weakened 1 percent to 3.4350 per U.S. dollar by 4:16 p.m. in New York, the most since June 15. The currency has dropped 0.8 percent versus the dollar over the past month.
Economic developments in May were “mostly negative,” the Finance Ministry said in a report yesterday, citing export figures and retail sales. Central bank Governor Stanley Fischer said July 7 that Israel’s economic expansion this year may trail the bank’s 5.2 percent forecast because second-quarter growth may have been slower than expected.
American depositary receipts of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA), the world’s biggest generic-drug company, fell the most since June 24, dropping 0.3 percent to $49.30 in New York yesterday. The Israeli-traded shares declined 0.9 percent to 167.50 shekels, or the equivalent of $48.76.
Roche AG filed a lawsuit seeking to block generic-drug companies including Novartis AG’s Sandoz and Teva from selling a low-cost version of the anti-nausea drug Aloxi. Roche filed the complaint July 8 in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, claiming it would be “irreparably harmed” by the alleged infringements.
Given Imaging Ltd. (GIVN), the maker of pill-sized cameras for diagnosing digestive ailments, climbed 1 percent to $21.56, the biggest gainer among the index of Israeli stocks trading in the U.S. The Tel Aviv-traded shares dropped 1.7 percent to 73.16 shekels, or the equivalent of $21.3.
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