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Israeli stocks fall and rise, mirroring Wall Street activity

JERUSALEM, Oct. 29 (JTA) – As goes Wall Street, so goes Tel Aviv. This was the operative phrase for market action on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange for two successive days this week. Share prices on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange dropped sharply Tuesday in a shakeup touched off by the previous day’s stock plunge on Wall Street. The Tel Aviv exchange’s two main indexes closed the day down by just under 9 percent. Earlier in the day, trading was automatically suspended after the blue-chip Maof Index fell by more than 8 percent. Business resumed 45 minutes later. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Ya’acov Ne’eman urged the public not to panic, assuring them that the Israeli economy is strong. Some stock analysts said the slide was a temporary reaction to the record drop on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by more than 550 points Monday, its steepest one-day point decline. Israeli trading activity reversed itself Wednesday, after the Dow Jones average rose more than 330 points a day earlier. Share prices on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange rebounded Wednesday, with the Mishtanim Index up 8 percent and the Maof Index rising nearly 7.5 percent. Tuesday’s drop on the Tel Aviv exchange came a day after the announcement by the Bank of Israel that it is leaving interest rates unchanged at 13.4 percent. Despite pressure from manufacturers, Bank of Israel Governor Jacob Frenkel has refrained from cutting interest rates, saying to do so would be inflationary.

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