The representative dollar exchange rate hit a record NIS 4.744.

This constitutes a seven agorot gain on its representative rate set Friday at NIS 4.667 and a 12% rise from its level on the day of the 2% interest rate cut. Dealers pinned the dollar gains in the past few hours on purchases by the banks.

Dealing rooms reported early trade mainly between the banks, as customers and speculators joined trading only recently. The word on the foreign currency market is one of the causes for the dollar climbs is cash influx into foreign currency mutual funds. Political escalations and the attack on the army base in the south did not help the shekel any. Financial circles estimate the dollar may rise to NIS 4.8 in the short term, though dealers believe a correction may follow the rapid devaluation. Dealing rooms are saying turnover is high relative to the last few days, and that at NIS 4.74 speculators and companies appeared on the scene to cash in on profits.

The buying spreads this morning reached 50 base points, as opposed to spreads of 20 to 30 points on calmer trade days.

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