Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

24 Teves 5765 - January 5, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Dollar Lost 1.6 percent Against Shekel in 2004 and Euro Gained 6.2 Percent

By G. Kleiman

At the end of foreign currency trading on Friday, December 31, the dollar continued to drop 0.71 percent, and the representative rate was set at NIS 4.308.

Since the beginning of 2004 the dollar lost 1.6 percent against the shekel, while the euro improved by 6.2 percent. On Friday the euro representative rate was set at 5.876, 0.5 percent below Thursday's rate. The decrease resulted from sparse activity by investors at the end of the civil calendar year.

The dollar decreased to a three-week low against the yen to post a third year of decline against the Japanese currency. The dollar also posted a decrease of 6.2 percent against all world currencies, continuing its longest continual decline since 1987. Since the beginning of the year the dollar lost 7 percent against the euro and 4.4 percent against the yen.

Wall Street closed 2004 with light declines and meager turnovers on the last trading day of 2004. The NASDAQ Index completed an increase of 8.6 percent since the beginning of the civil calendar year. Since the low ebb the NASDAQ posted in August it leaped up 24 percent due to renewed optimism. The Dow Jones Index ended 2004 with an increase of 3.1 percent compared to a 25 percent upsurge in 2003.

Following these performances it was reported the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange would decrease trading fees in 2005. The fee for bonds will decrease 40 percent and the options fees will decrease 5 agorot. The reduction follows tax equivalence on revenues from local and foreign securities.

In other financial news in the package deal hammered out last weekend between the banks and Finance Committee Chairman MK Simchon it was agreed the banks would place an 18-month freeze on the fees they charge for household accounts. Disadvantaged customers will be able to execute 10 transactions at a rate of NIS 10 per month and a banking track at a cost of NIS 18 per month will also include unlimited salary and allowances transfers, four automated- teller withdrawals, five standing bank order payments, eight check deposits and withdrawals and six operations using the account update machines. According to this track the per-line fees and management fees will be eliminated. According to the understanding reached, upon request the banks will provide their customers a credit history record for the preceding year. The banks asked for a period of four months to put the package deal into operation, thus it is expected to take effect in March or April of 2005.


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