Israeli markets rose on Wednesday on investor hopes that the outcome of the previous day's election means Benjamin Netanyahu will remain prime minister and ultra-Orthodox parties have no role in government.
Israel's main labor union ended a brief strike that shut down major sectors of the economy on Monday, following a labor court injunction that limited the action to just four hours.
The EU moved closer to a trade deal with the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday after unanimous backing from European lawmakers to fully open markets to farm and fish products from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Investors began separating the losers and the gainers from Egyptian unrest on Wednesday, as fears the turmoil would interrupt the world oil trade lifted petroleum prices to their highest level in more than two years while share markets in the Middle East rebounded. The price of North Sea Brent crude futures held above $100 a barrel on Wednesday and just below the 28-month high they reached a day earlier, amid concerns the standoff between Egypt’s government and the opposition might close the Suez Canal. Investors also remained jittery about the risk of unrest spreading to the Middle East’s oil exporters.