Foreign currency trading opened on relatively level ground, with the dollar maintaining yesterday's rate. However, the trend is now reversed and the dollar is sliding to NIS 4.62, 0.35% below yesterday's representative rate of NIS 4.637. Dealing rooms are reporting calm trade compared with the last few days.

The dollar yesterday climbed to its highest level ever, breaking its own record for the 12th time in a one-month period.

Dealers say the recent dollar rise is due to low supply, which makes the market stagnant. "Those who sold a week or two ago had in retrospect been mistaken. Now investors that want to sell prefer to wait for another climb," said one dealer.

Gift investment bank, specializing in foreign currency trading, said the reduced liquidity and lower volumes, accompanied with higher deviations from the standard, call for caution as trade is still sensitive to excess demand, it may in the future become sensitive to excess supply as well.

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According to dealers, end of the month conversions by export companies for salary payment purposes are halting the shekel devaluation somewhat. Gift analysts point out that since this is the last day this month in which to exchange the dollars, dollar supply is bound to increase.

Companies do not seem to be taking more dollar loans in dealing rooms, a move that could potentially lead to revaluation. "Companies are interested in taking dollar credit, which could yield gains were the dollar to slide again, but most of them are not doing so yet," said one of the dealers.

The euro is gaining 0.2% vis-à-vis the shekel this morning, rising to NIS 4.0037.