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Shekel Devalued 1.5 Percent

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An upsurge of demand for foreign currency in recent days resulted Tuesday in an unofficial 1.5 percent devaluation of the shekel relative to the U.S. dollar.

The new rate is 2.10 shekels to $1. That is 3 percent more than it was on June 20, and brings to 8 percent the decrease in the value of the shekel over the last three months.

The drop in the shekel’s value was described as “an adjustment of the representative exchange rate of the dollar.”

The demand for dollars was attributed to the business community’s anticipation of drastic economic measure by Israel’s new finance minister, Yitzhak Moda’i.

The Bank of Israel, the country’s central bank, has leeway to reduce the shekel by another 2 percent before the finance minister must declare an official devaluation.

He is expected to do so by July 1, when the Treasury announces a new economic package.

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