Israeli Investors Take Cover as Omicron Rattles Markets

A man looks at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Monday. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

The Omicron wave has rattled nerves on stock exchanges around the world, and the Israeli currency was feeling it too on Monday.

The shekel weakened sharply against the dollar and euro. The shekel exchange rate was up over 1.2% against the dollar at NIS 3.1678/$ and up 0.78% against the euro at NIS 3.557/€, in inter-bank trading on Monday afternoon.

Globes explained: “As usually happens when international stock markets are in decline, Israeli institutional investors with major overseas investments sell shekels and buy foreign currency to hedge their positions, thus weakening the shekel.”

Also on Monday, the Tel Aviv 35 Index was down 1.37% at 1873.77 points. After strong falls in Asia, European markets were also down with the FTSE 100 in London down 1.08% at 7,192.12 points. Futures contracts point to declines on Wall Street later in the day.