Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer launched a new war on the falling shekel-dollar rate Monday and ordered the purchase of $100 million of greenbacks, soon after the rate dropped close to 3.59 shekels to the dollar for the first time in nearly two years.
The massive purchase catapulted the rate from the 18-month low of 3.592 to 3.62 in only a few minutes.
The shekel has strengthened this year, receiving recent support from expectations of positive fallout from the beginning of the flow of Israeli natural off-shore gas.
A strong shekel is great news for consumers buying items imported from the United States, but it sends shivers through Israeli companies with revenues in dollars. After converting income to shekels, the firms are left with less money, and their executives are constantly pressuring the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Israel to take measures to raise the currency rate.