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The currency market has begun the week with a change in trend after the Israeli attack on a Syrian radar installation in Lebanon. The shekel is weakening, to NIS 4.1770 per dollar.

The weakening of the shekel against the dollar contradicts the trend evident in options trade yesterday, which indicated a strong shekel and an exchange rate of NIS 4.16 to the dollar. But the air force bombing of the Syrian radar installation, as retaliation against Hezbollah attacks on northern Israeli border towns, sparked a demand for dollars.

Israel Bank Discount says the forex market opened at NIS 4.1650 per dollar. The shekel weakened mainly subsequent to interbank currency trading.

Dealers say that mid-month conversion of dollars into shekels by exporters, who usually have to pay their VAT bills on the 15th of the month, should moderate the weakening of the shekel. But because of the Passover holiday, the final date for paying VAT has been postponed to the 18th of the month.