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The shekel shot up Thursday after a turbulent session, to a representative rate of 4.743 to the dollar.

At opening the shekel climbed, reducing the dollar to NIS 4.73. Later the dollar surged to NIS 4.745, but reversed to close 0.5% below its official rate of Wednesday.

In late afternoon trade the shekel continued to gain ground, reducing the dollar another 0.3% to NIS 4.73.

Trading volumes have been climbing on increasing activity by foreign banks, say dealers. The dollar gained ground against the shekel on Wednesday due to foreign speculators, dealers said.

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The shekel had been expected to regain ground after September 11, the memorial day for the terror attacks on the United States, passed without incident.

Dealers expect the shekel to continue gaining ground in the days to come.

Bank of Israel figures show that trading volumes have surged up to $800 million a day, compared with an average daily volume of $600 million in August. Foreign bodies doubled their activity to $150 million a day.

Dealers from the Gift investment house, which belongs to the Ilanot Batucha group, predict that the dollar will remain within the range of NIS 4.72 to NIS 4.77, in the short run. Barring unusual events, they see it dropping below NIS 4.7.