"Bloomberg" reported yesterday the shekel had the best performance of the 31 currencies monitored during the first quarter of 2013, because of Israel's stable growth and in anticipation of gas flow from the Tamar field, which is expected to have a favorable impact on the Israeli government deficit.
Yesterday, for the first time since July 2011, the Bank of Israel intervened in the foreign currency market, after the shekel-dollar exchange rate fell to NIS 3.592/$. One source estimates that the Bank of Israel bought at least $100 million.
Last week, the shekel-dollar exchange rate fell to NIS 3.605/$ in continuous trading, a low last seen in September 2011. The shekel-dollar exchange rate has fallen 12% from its peak in July 2012, and 4.4% since the beginning of 2013. The last time that the exchange rate hit this level was on August 23, 2011.
Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer, who will leave his post in June, "is credited by many economists for helping Israel get through the 2008 crisis, by buying dollars to prevent the further appreciation of the shekel, and strengthening exporters."
The Bank of Israel's foreign currency reserves totaled $77.3 billion at the end of 2013.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 9, 2013
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