March 22 (Bloomberg) -- The shekel strengthened to the highest level in almost 15 months versus the dollar as Israel normalized ties with Turkey.
The Israeli currency gained 0.3 percent to 3.66 per dollar by the 4 p.m. close of trading in New York, while Turkey’s lira added as much as 0.3 percent. The Bloomberg Israel-US Index of the largest Israeli companies traded in the U.S. fell 0.4 percent to 90.39, led by Allot Communications Ltd.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to normalize ties and reinstate ambassadors in a phone call, according to Netanyahu’s office. Israel apologized for the deaths of nine Turks on an aid flotilla to Gaza in 2010, according to officials from Israel and the U.S. who asked for anonymity. Erdogan accepted the apology, the officials said.
“The ties are positive,” said Guillaume Salomon, chief emerging-markets strategist at Societe Generale SA in London, said by phone. “Any ties that bring Israel closer to some of its neighbors is good news. I’m very positive on the shekel.”
The shekel is the best performer among 13 Middle Eastern currencies tracked by Bloomberg this year, gaining 2.1 percent versus the dollar. The lira has weakened 1.8 percent.
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