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Dollar rush boosts rate to NIS 4.59, up 1.65% in two days

Public expressing renewed interest in foreign currency-linked investments

The shekel devaluation trend continues, with the dollar trading at NIS 4.59, up 0.8% from yesterday's representative exchange rate of NIS 4.553. This is a NIS 7.5 agorot gain, or 1.65%, from its level of NIS 4.515 at the beginning of the week.

Dealing rooms are reporting increased demand, particularly from local banks. They say that although foreign investors are taking part in trading, not to a great extent.

Foreign currency-linked mutual funds are reporting renewed public interest in foreign currency investments, expected to increase in the next few days. The recent rises in the dollar to NIS 4.56, explain the dealers, follow Klein's statement that he will neither raise interest any time soon, nor be shocked if the dollar makes it to NIS 5. One dealer called these statements "a buy recommendation for the dollar".

Still, dealers are pointing out the calm foreign exchange trading. The buy/sell spreads indeed remain at 30 to 40 base points, a little more than on a regular market day, but turnover has dropped below $1 billion a day, and deviations from the standard on dollar options have diminished to about 8%. "The market is calmer than in the first days after the interest cut, but nerves are still jangling," said one of the dealers.

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