Israel’s Yaron Says Rates High Enough to Help Ailing Shekel

Israel’s interest rates are high enough to bolster the shekel and ensure inflation slows to 3% or less by early next year, according to the country’s central bank governor, Bloomberg News reported. “We believe the current rate is in restrictive territory,” Amir Yaron told Bloomberg Television from Jerusalem. He spoke a day after the Bank of Israel kept its benchmark rate unchanged at 4.75%, even with the shekel having recently depreciated to a three-year low. The currency weakened 0.2% to 3.79 per dollar as of 2:10 p.m. local time. That’s extended its loss this year to 7.3%, one of the worst performances in a basket of more than 30 major units tracked by Bloomberg. Israeli assets have been rocked by political unrest in the country. The government’s plans to weaken the power of judges have triggered mass protests and even criticism from Yaron. The shekel has become “detached from developments in financial markets abroad due to uncertainty brought on by judicial changes,” Yaron said. Read more.