Israeli Economy to Grow 4.9% in 2011, Led by Investment
Comment of the Day

October 14 2011

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Israeli Economy to Grow 4.9% in 2011, Led by Investment

This article by Alisa Odenheimer for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:
Israel's economy will expand by 4.9 percent this year, led by investment in fixed capital, the Central Bureau of Statistics said.

In the second quarter, growth was 3.7 percent, compared with a previous estimate of 3.5 percent, the Jerusalem-based statistics office said in an e-mailed statement today. The bureau had previously estimated 5 percent growth for the year, and the new figure brings it closer to the Bank of Israel's forecast of 4.7 percent.

"All in all, the numbers look pretty good," said Amir Kahanovich, chief economist at Clal Investment Management Ltd. in Tel Aviv. "The concern is over exports, which have been hurt by the global slowdown. There are also signs of cooling in the housing market, which may reduce investment."

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer cut the benchmark interest rate for the first time in 2 1/2 years on Sept. 26, joining countries including Turkey and Brazil in reducing lending costs. The slowdown in global growth will be steeper than previously expected, the Bank of Israel said in the minutes of the meeting released yesterday.

The quarter-point rate cut, which brought the benchmark to 3 percent, followed a Sept. 22 announcement that the central bank had reduced its forecast for growth next year to 3.2 percent from 3.9 percent.

Eoin Treacy's view The Tel Aviv 100 Index posted one of the most impressively consistent advances anywhere from its late 2008 low to the March 2010 peak. It then lost momentum and has posted a progression of lower rally highs since January. The Index declined abruptly in early August but has stabilized mostly above 900 and a closing of the oversold condition relative to the 200-day MA, currently near 1080, appears more likely than not.

The Nasdaq Israel Index has a relatively similar pattern but the reactions over the last 18 months have been more severe. It fell more in August but also appears to be in the process of building support.

We have 43 of the Nasdaq Israel Index's constituents in the Chart Library. This Performance Filter highlights the impressive performance many shares have posted over the last month. This spreadsheet highlights the concentration of the Index in the telecommunications and technology sectors.

I reviewed Check Point Software yesterday. It remains a relative and absolute leader and is the second largest share in the index. EZChip Semiconductor Ltd and ClickSoftware Technologies share similar patterns.

Teva Pharmaceutical has been trending lower since early 2010 and has returned to test the 2008 lows. It appears to be in the process of building support and a sustained move below $35 would be required to question that hypothesis.

Nice Systems has been prone to large pullbacks in the course of its three-year uptrend but has held the progression of higher major reaction lows and a sustained move below $27 would be required to check current scope for continued higher to lateral ranging.

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