The Bank of Israel began buying dollars today, as the shekel-dollar exchange rate fell to NIS 3.592/$, the first intervention in the market since July 2011. The Bank of Israel has reportedly purchased at least $100 million, according to one market source. The shekel-dollar exchange rate rose to NIS 3.62/$, following the intervention.
The market source said, "$100 million is not so very much for the Bank of Israel but it is a statement of intent that NIS 3.60/$ does not make it happy."
The shekel-dollar exchange rate fell to NIS 3.605/$ last week, its lowest level since September 2011. The shekel-dollar exchange rate is down 4.4% from its high point reached in July 2012, and down 4.4% from the beginning of 2013. Foreign market sources have believed for a long time that the Bank of Israel would again intervene in the market if the shekel-dollar exchange rate fell below NIS 3.60/$. The last time that the exchange rate hit this level was on August 23, 2011.
Yesterday, the Bank of Israel announced that its foreign currency reserves reached $79.97 billion at the end of March, $308 million less than a month earlier.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 8, 2013
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