Foreign currency trading was very tense and pressured on Friday, and the dollar jumped by 2.6%, to a representative rate of NIS 3.595. The greenback had reached gains of 4.2% earlier in the morning. For the shortened holiday week, the dollar gained 3.75% against the shekel.
The euro also gained 2.6% against the shekel on Friday, reaching a representative rate of NIS 4.893. For the week, the euro rose 1.88% against the shekel.
The gains actually represent two days' worth of increases, as there was no official forex trading on Thursday, due to the Yom Kippur holiday.
Around the world, the dollar actually rose against the euro on Friday by 0.5%, to $1.353.
"The banks are hysterical, because local [traders] are closing positions," said the manager of the trading room at one of the banks on Friday. The spread between buy and sell prices for foreign currency increased to 100 points on Friday.
The dollar is rising against most world currencies, and the lowering of interest rates in Western countries further supports the dollar, said Michal Rotlevi, head of fixed-income trading at Bank Hapoalim.
"The banks are continuing to quote [foreign currency prices] for everyone. It's natural that in a volatile market the spreads will increase. Spreads of 100 are not large for this market," she explained.
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