Israel Shares Drop After Syria Strike Report, Fischer Remarks

Israeli shares fell to a four-month low after a report that the country’s airforce attacked a convoy near the Syrian-Lebanese border. The resignation of Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer also weighed on stocks.

The benchmark TA-25 Index of equities fell 0.8 percent to 1,176.67, the lowest since Sept. 24, at the close in Tel Aviv. The measure had risen as much as 0.5 percent earlier, before the Haaretz newspaper reported Israeli air force warplanes flew a number of sorties over Lebanon last night, citing reports in the Lebanese media.

Agence France-Presse later reported that a convoy transporting weapons near Syria’s border with Lebanon had been attacked. An Israeli army spokeswoman, speaking anonymously in accordance with regulations, told Bloomberg News she was checking the reports of the attack. The TA-25 dropped 0.9 percent yesterday after Fischer said he would step down in June, midway through his second five-year term.

Security concerns “are increasing uncertainty in the market and pushing stocks down,” Adi Babani, a sales trader at Clal Finance Batucha Brokerage Ltd. in Tel Aviv said today by phone. “Fischer’s resignation” is adding to concern, he said.

Israel’s benchmark 4.25 percent 2023 government bonds declined for a third day, sending the yield up one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 4.1 percent, after it jumped eight basis points yesterday. The shekel strengthened less than 0.1 percent to 3.7267 to the dollar as of 4:48 p.m. in Tel Aviv.

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