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
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.