Israeli shekel keeps sliding amid unease over judiciary plans

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JERUSALEM, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The Israeli shekel fell against the U.S. dollar for a fourth straight day on Monday, adding to the decline that analysts linked to the government’s proposed changes in -judicial system.

The shekel fell 0.9% to 3.47 in afternoon trade against the dollar after reaching 3.488 earlier in the day.

The currency had strengthened for much of January but started to decline from a four-month high of 3.37 last week. This coincided with economists’ warnings that a proposed legal shake-up could have an impact on investor confidence as well as massive street protests.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended his government’s bid to gain stronger political control over bench appointments while weakening the Supreme Court’s ability to rule against legislation or policy.

He said late Sunday evening that groups opposing his proposed changes were trying to scare away investors.

“We have made Israeli a solid free market economy. The institutions are strong. Before the reforms it is strong and after the reforms it will be even stronger,” Netanyahu said.

The Bank of Israel and the Ministry of Finance declined to comment on the recent slide in the exchange rate. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Steven Scheer Editing by Mark Potter)

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