February 14, 2018 / 10:26 AM / in a year

Israeli markets firmer despite Netanyahu indictment call

JERUSALEM, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Israeli markets rose on Wednesday, taking the potential implications of a police recommendation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted for bribery in their stride.

Netanyahu, whose coalition partners are so far sticking by him, has denied any wrongdoing and called Tuesday’s police allegations baseless, vowing to complete his fourth term. It is now up to Israel’s attorney general to decide whether to file charges, which could take months.

“The political situation is less tense than what we had anticipated so it is not really having a market impact. It’s less of an event to the market,” Lior Faust, head of spot currency trading at Bank Leumi, said.

Key Tel Aviv share indices were up 0.7 to 0.8 percent in midday trade, while bond prices were up as much as 0.6 percent. The shekel was also slightly stronger against the dollar at 3.5285, compared with Tuesday’s close of 3.5356. It also rose versus the euro.

The shekel has weakened about four percent this month partly due to political uncertainty. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by Alexander Smith)

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