The Bank of Israel will increase the rate of purchasing US currency to $100 million per day beginning Thursday, the bank announced. The US dollar was being traded at NIS 3.22 on Thursday afternoon, a rise of one agora over the morning hours' NIS 3.21 exchange rate. The bank noted that the plan to increase the US currency purchases was part of a plan to increase foreign currency reserves to $35-40 billion. In March, the Bank of Israel purchased US dollars for the first time in 10 years, with an intention to stop the shekel from growing much stronger against the US currency. The exchange rate on Thursday morning, 3.21, was the lowest rate in the past 12 years. The bank's statement Thursday increases the level of foreign exchange rate purchases by 300 percent. Following the statement, the exchange rate immediately jumped by 10%, or nearly NIS 0.10, to NIS 3.23 per US Dollar. The euro also strengthened against the shekel on Thursday, increasing 0.64% to 5.24 shekels per euro.