The meeting between Finance Minister Silvan Shalom and Bank of Israel governor David Klein yesterday, after weeks of fuming avoidance, has not influenced Israel's foreign currency market.
The shekel is weakening further Thursday morning to NIS 4.988 against the dollar, about 0.5% above its representative rate of Wednesday, which was NIS 4.964.
Speculators will largely await the results of tonight's planned summit meeting between Israel's economic leaders, dealers say. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will be sitting with the governor and the finance minister to discuss yet another economic package designed, among other things, to shore up the faltering Israeli currency.
"The market is waiting for deeds, not declarations about walking hand in hand," scoffed one dealer. Israel's economic leadership does nothing but talk about the problems, but does nothing to handle it, he griped.
Communications is important, he said, "but the demand for dollars is still greater than the supply, and the exchange rate continues to climb."
Dealers say that the rate is fluctuating around NIS 4.98 to the dollar. "I don't believe market players will bet in one particular direction for the dollar before the results of the economic summit are in," said another dealer. But market players are not expecting any drastic moves, just a statement from the prime minister that he is committed to financial stability.