Dollar Gains on Shekel, but Loses Momentum

Treasury sues El Al for 55 million shekels.

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Israeli shekels. (illustrative)
Dollar gains on shekel, but loses momentumCredit: Reuters

Dollar gains on shekel, but loses momentum
The dollar strengthened further against the shekel on Thursday, as the fighting with Hamas showed no signs of letting up and the greenback reached its highest in 11 months against the euro. The U.S. currency, which has appreciated 3.3% in since the last week of July, was nevertheless showing signs of losing momentum, strengthening just 0.09% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.5360 shekels and in late trading had retreated to 3.5178. The euro weakened, shedding 0.06% of its value to 4.6093. “As expected, the dollar is breaking at 3.54 shekels to 3.56 shekels,” said Yossi Fraiman of Prico Risk Management & Investments. “It is likely the dollar will weaken to a level of 3.50-3.52 before it tests the 3.55 level.” (Eran Azran)

Treasury sues El Al for 55 million shekels
The Finance Ministry is suing El Al Airlines to recovery some 55 million shekels ($15.6 million) it say the carrier owes for failing to holds up its end of an agreement to jointly cover a deficit in an employee severance-pay fund. The money to cover the deficit came from the proceeds of El Al’s 2003 privatization, but in a suit filed in Lod District Court this week the treasury claimed El Al kept back some 32.4 million shekels of the proceeds after the deficit was paid rather than hand it over to the state. “There is no doubt that El Al is required to return this money to the public,” the Finance Ministry said in its petition. The state is also claiming 14.6 million shekels in proceeds from stock options El Al sold to employees. El Al shares fell 0.6% to a close of 52 agorot in Tel Aviv. (Jasmin Gueta)

TA-25 index ends higher for the first time in five sessions
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 index ended higher for the first time in five sessions on Thursday as the market shrugged off the renewed fighting with Hamas and focused on a raft of strong economic data from the United States. The benchmark index finished the day 0.3% higher at 1,379.01 points while the TA-100 climbed 0.4% to 1,240.94. Some 808 million shekels ($229 million) in shares changed hands. Among heavy capitalization stocks, Teva Pharmaceuticals rose 2.2% to finish at 190.07 shekels while Bezeq sank 1.5% to 6.36. Evogene reversed a sharp drop on Wednesday on a wider quarterly loss to close up 8.6% at 47.28 shekels. Oil Refineries Limited advanced 6% to 1.10 shekels after turning in a $4 -million second-quarter profit, compared to a $38-million loss a year earlier. (Eran Azran) 

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