July was business as usual for the shekel as its strengthening continued despite escalated security concerns in Jerusalem’s Old City, however, as tensions subsided the currency once again resumed its upward trend. Meanwhile, seeking to break barriers in history and trade, Israel received a historic visit from the Prime Minister of India, and rising mortgage rates have slowed investment in Israeli real estate. Plus, we have insights from the IsraTransfer trading desk, and a very special welcome home to Israel’s newest Oleh. What are we talking about? Read on!
From the IsraTransfer Trading Desk
While other currencies have been strengthening against the shekel, the US dollar has not. In fact, we have seen the dollar fall against a large basket of currencies over the last few weeks. The biggest problem for the dollar has come from comments by the US Fed, namely that the markets have reduced the chances of further interest rate hikes. To illustrate the point, back in May the markets believed there was a 60% chance of a hike in September, it has since been revised down to only 4%. Additionally, the probability of a hike in December has now fallen from 60% to 40%.
Elsewhere, helped in a great degree by the latest minutes of the UK Monetary Policy Committee, we have seen some positive moves for sterling since our last report. While interest rates were kept on hold, three members of the committee voted to hike interest rates, leading the markets to believe there is a greater chance of a rate hike sooner than first thought. All eyes this week will be on the inflation report in the UK, and depending on what we see will determine the next move for sterling.
Finally, it is important to point out that both the Australian dollar and Canadian dollar have been performing well against the shekel over the last month. The Canadian dollar is often impacted by oil prices, and we consider it a primary reason for the recent uptick in the strength of the Canadian dollar that should continue.
Israeli Economy Snapshot
After a short pause in the wake of heightened security concerns, the shekel continued to show its mettle, including a strengthening following the US Fed’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged. Deutsche Bank analysis indicates that moves lower in the shekel are merely temporary corrections, and now officially lists the shekel as one of the world’s most attractive global currencies to invest in.
Israel Real Estate
Long believed to be reaching a top in the market, signs are growing that Israel’s housing boom has started to sputter. While fewer investments due to rising mortgage rate hasn’t affected home values yet, it has slowed appreciation, suggesting that a 10-year trend may be reversing course.
A Monumental Visit
July marked a historic moment in global relations as India broke with long-standing political policy to pay a visit to the Holy Land. The summit between Prime Ministers Netanyahu and Modi marked an expansion in commercial ties between the two nations, and even included the establishment of a joint $40 million India-Israel Industrial Research & Development and Technical Innovation Fund.
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