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Israeli shekel, stocks to post first weekly gain since Hamas attack 

Israeli stocks appeared poised on Friday to register their first weekly gain since the Hamas attack on October 7. The TA-35 equity index recorded a 1.4% increase on Thursday, extending its weekly rise to 4.5%. The New Israeli Shekel also strengthened by 0.5%, pushing below 4 per dollar and approaching its highest closing level since October 13. 

Despite the recovery, the shekel remains over 3% weaker against the dollar than when hostilities commenced on October 7, while stocks have faced a decline of over 8%. 

The Bank of Israel, having unfolded a $30 billion forex reserve sale program several weeks ago, remains on guard to rein in excessive moves. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Tel Aviv for talks on Friday, saying ahead of his trip that Washington is “determined to deter any escalation” in the nation’s war with Hamas.   


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USD decline: Dollar slides on weak employment data 

The U.S. dollar fell to its lowest level since September on Friday, after data showed the world’s largest economy generated fewer jobs than anticipated in the previous month. This reinforced the belief that the Federal Reserve is likely to extend its pause on interest rate hikes at its December meeting, despite keeping the door open for further monetary contraction at its announcement this week. 

The DXY dollar index dropped to 105.19, trading 0.88% down on the day, as per MarketWatch data. 


Israel economy forecast: JPMorgan sees 11% contraction in Q4 2023  

The war has led to a sudden slowdown in economic activity, with investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. recently projecting a potential 11% year-on-year contraction in Israel's economy for the last quarter of 2023.  

Options markets have indicated elevated levels of bearish bets against the shekel — the additional cost of protecting against the currency's depreciation in the upcoming month, compared to hedging against its appreciation, has risen to 1.7%, according to risk reversal data cited by Bloomberg.  

While Israel continues with what it terms the “second phase” of the conflict, involving an expanded ground offensive in Gaza, emerging market stocks are up 3% so far this week after two straight declines as investors reprice odds of Fed hikes and assess fallout from the conflict in the Middle East. Emerging market currencies are on track for a 1% weekly gain — the most since July, as highlighted by Bloomberg. 

At the time of writing on Friday, the USD to ILS rate stood at 3.9331, with the shekel having gained close to 1.25% against the dollar on the day. 

When considering foreign currency (forex) for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss.     

Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be construed to be investment advice. 

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