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The official shekel-dollar exchange rate was set at NIS 4.831 Tuesday, with the dollar 0.08% stronger than its representative rate of Monday.

Trade was uneventful, dealers say, after the Bank of Israel yesterday announced that October interest rates will remain unchanged from September, at a nominal rate of 9.1%. The dollar spent the session hovering around NIS 4.831, a rate reached Monday afternoon after the representative rate was set.

Sources at the Excellence brokerage house say the main influence over the shekel-dollar rate is the security situation. Today's report of nine Palestinians killed in Gaza by Israeli forces was offset by the Bank of Israel's firm stand on interest, dealers say.

The turmoil on Wall Street is also pressing on the shekel, the dealers add. Despite the contradictory news regarding the U.S. economy, given the prevailing uncertainty, investors prefer to stock up on dollars.

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Sources at the Forex brokerage assess that barring unusual events, the dollar may correct downwards to a degree, despite its recent climb. The shekel's attractions due to its higher interest rates cannot be dismissed, they say, although the U.S.-Iraq situation may cause substantial fluctuations in exchange rates. Any progress toward a possible war is likely to bolster the dollar, as could parliament's failure to pass the 2003 budget, Forex added.