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The shekel is sliding against the dollar, which has climbed 0.5% from its representative rate of yesterday to NIS 4.954.

The dollar ended forex trade on Tuesday at a representative (official) rate of NIS 4.929.

Yesterday after the representative rate was set, the dollar continued to climb against the shekel after a big bank bought dollars, raising the rate to NIS 4.955.

Dealing rooms report that trade is quiet this morning, partly because at this level, the dollar is too expensive to tempt many buyers, but not expensive enough to spur many sellers.

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Speculators are waiting on the fence for the Bank of Israel to announce its monetary program for July. Most pundits believe the central bank will boost interest rates again by 1%, which would raise central bank lending rates to 8.1%. It would widen the gap between rates on the shekel and dollar to 6.3%.

Forex consultants say that a gap of that size would make the shekel an attractive investment vehicle compared with the dollar, and will stop the shekel's downward trend.