Shekel-dollar trade is volatile on Thursday, after two days of New Year's holiday. The shekel is regaining some strength against the dollar and is now trading for NIS 4.3350, some 0.4% higher than the representative rate of exchange set last Friday.

Sources at Bank Hapoalim's dealing room say the bid/ask spreads are still very wide at about a agora, or 100 base points ¿ roughly double or even triple the regular rate.

The dollar had strengthened sharply on the eve of the Rosh Hashana holiday, as speculators prepared for an anticipated American strike against terror targets in Asia or the Middle East, and for the steep losses anticipated on Wall Street as trade resumed after the long break.

Dealers attribute the shekel's surge today to the relative quiet in the region, and to the fact that the U.S. has yet to mount any military operations after the attacks to hit New York and Washington nine days ago.