Israel central bank sold $8.2bn of forex in Oct, FX reserves dip to $191.2bn

JERUSALEM: The Bank of Israel sold $8.2 billion of foreign currency in October, helping to push its forex reserves down to $191.235 billion, it said on Tuesday.

The central bank embarked on a $30 billion program to sell forex at the outset of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza a month ago to prevent a sharp weakening of the shekel, the first time ever it had sold foreign currency.

Reserves in September stood at $198.553 billion.

Bank of Israel to sell $30bn of forex to stabilize shekel amid Gaza war

In addition to the foreign exchange sell-off, the Bank of Israel announced last month it would carry out swap and repo transactions to deal with any liquidity difficulties that may adversely impact the financial system.

The central bank said it conducted 95 million shekels ($25 million) in repo transactions with bonds as collateral and $400 million in dollar-shekel swaps – out of the program of up to $15 billion.

The Bank of Israel has been trying to contain the shekel’s volatility and prevent further depreciation, which impacts inflation.

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