Iran's Revenge Promise Against Israel Is Taking Down Its Stock Market — But Large Tech Companies Appear Immune

Zinger Key Points
  • Israel’s largest market index is showing how investors reacted negatively to the prospect of an attack by Iran.
  • Broad market ETFs are also suffering, but those focused on the tech sector are already recovering.

Israel-related stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are suffering as investors shy away from the Middle Eastern country over fears of escalating conflict with Iran.

Yet the largest Israeli tech companies boasting a global footprint are being spared by investors hedging against broader conflict in the region, which is focused on those catering to the internal market or heavily exposed to regional distress.

What Happened: The TA-35 Index, following the 35 largest companies in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, registered losses over the 3% mark this week. 

Losses began on Tuesday after Tehran promised retaliation over an airstrike by Israeli forces in an Iranian embassy compound in Damascus, Syria.

An attack that occurred on Monday in Syria killed twelve people, including four civilians, several senior Iranian military and intelligence officials and a member of the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Israel is facing major criticism by the UN, Western nations and other allies, including the U.S., for the rising death toll in Gaza, which topped the 33,000 lives on Thursday according to the Gaza health ministry.

The casualty figures provided by the ministry do not distinguish the difference between civilians and combatants or provide the cause of death.

Israeli leadership launched a massive bombing campaign in Gaza in an effort to dismantle Palestinian militant group Hamas.

According to recent reports, Hamas refuses to release up to 130 hostages that have been held since its Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel.

Now, the addition of new military objectives in Syria, mounting tensions with Iran and rising international pressure are risking destabilizing Israel's economy further off.

Read also: Israel To Return To Cease-Fire Negotiations, But Strikes On Gaza And Syria Continue

Last week, the UN's highest-ranking human rights official warned that Israel's actions in Gaza could constitute a war crime if the current "man made famine" battering the region is proven to be used as a weapon of war.

On Wednesday, War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz called for early elections in Israel in an effort to "maintain unity" and "renew trust," which has been lost under the rule of far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu, who has been widely blamed for gestating the conditions that allowed for Hamas' Oct. 7 attack, as well as for the controversial killing of civilian lives in Gaza, dismissed the idea, saying "it would paralyze negotiations for freeing our hostages and would bring an end to the war before the goals are completely achieved," the Times of Israel reported.

How Stocks And ETFs Are Reacting

  • Ishares Msci Israel ETF EIS, which provides exposure to a wide range of Israeli companies, is down 2.6% this week, with the largest recent drop occurring after news of the destruction of Iran's embassy building came to light.
  • The Ark Israel Innovative Technology ETF IZRL, which focuses on Israeli companies leading disruptive innovation in technology has recovered on Thursday from losses stemming from the attack's news, and is up 0.6% on Thursday.
  • Amplify Bluestar Israel Technology ETF ITEQ which targets a similar set of companies has followed a close trajectory, gaining 0.9% on Thursday.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, followed by the TA-35 Index, marks one of the largest index-led losses this week, having lost 3.4% on the last five trading days and 1.7% on Thursday alone.

Yet some of the largest U.S.-listed Israeli companies have experienced a better week, showing that tech companies coming out of the Middle-eastern country that reach a global market, aren't suffering the costs of Israel's diplomatic debacle as bad as the country's overall stock market.

  • Self-driving technology company Mobileye Global Inc MBLY, which is majority-owned by Intel Corp INTC, is up 1.5% on Thursday, recovering losses from a minor Tuesday slump, to be up 0.5% in the past five days.
  • IT and software security company Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. CHKP, which has 10 offices in the United States and 60 others worldwide, is up 0.3% on Thursday.
  • Customer relations management software company Nice Ltd NICE is up 1% on Thursday after a minor drop on Tuesday.

Now Read: Russia Says Over 100K Enlist In Armed Forces Following Moscow Concert Hall Attack

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