Israel's Markets Give Thumbs Up To Iran Deal Despite Netanyahu Calling It 'Historic Mistake'

 
on November 24 2013 11:19 PM

Even after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared the interim nuclear deal with Iran a “historic mistake,” Israeli stock prices rose to another record high on Sunday.

Iran and six world powers secured a deal earlier on Sunday to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Netanyahu told the Israeli cabinet that his government wouldn't be bound by the deal, referring to it as a historic mistake that would leave atomic weapons production within Iran's reach. 

Israeli investors ignored what Netanyahu and other lawmakers had to say, however, and expressed doubt that Israel will launch an attack on Iran.

The blue-chip Tel Aviv 25 index .TA25 climbed 0.5 percent to 1,352.04 points at 9:12 a.m. ET, after reaching a new high of 1,355.38 earlier in the session. Last Wednesday, the TA-25 posted a new record close, surpassing an April 2011 peak, and it edged higher the following day to a new record and its sixth straight daily gain, according to Reuters.

"Israeli investors see a lower risk of conflict, despite what politicians have to say. An agreement is reducing the odds of a military conflict," said Roni Biron, senior analyst at UBS Israel. "Investors are reading ... that this is a positive agreement. Investors are liking any agreement that is done in a diplomatic way. They prefer that to a military conflict."

The broader TA-100 index .TA100 was 0.7 percent higher at 1,220.97 points, some 33 points shy of a record.

Bond prices rose, with the benchmark 10-year bond up 0.5 percent -- its first gain in a week. Its yield slipped to 3.55 percent from 3.62 Thursday, the final day in the Israeli trading week. 

Also helping to boost Israeli markets were gains on Wall Street and in U.S. Treasuries on Friday, according to analysts.

Stock volume was lackluster at 737 million shekels ($207 million), Reuters noted. However, turnover is often lower on Sundays, when the foreign exchange market is closed.

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