Arab Today, arab today turkish lira down on syria tensions
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Turkish lira down on Syria tensions

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Arab Today, arab today Turkish lira down on Syria tensions

Istanbul - Arabstoday

Turkey\'s currency fell to a two-week low against the dollar and bond and stock prices dropped on Thursday on worries about escalating tensions with Syria as troops moved up to the border. Investors were also weighing comments from the Turkish central bank governor suggesting the bank might revise its inflation forecast downwards, raising rate cut expectations. By 1440 GMT, the lira was weaker at 1.8327 against the dollar, from 1.8170 earlier on Thursday and 1.8120 late on Wednesday. It traded at its lowest since June 12. Against its euro-dollar basket, the lira weakened to 2.0547 from 2.0357. \"The lira has weakened compared to this morning for a few reasons, the troop movements on the Syrian border, the central bank governor\'s comments and lower risk appetite,\" said Tufan Comert, a strategist at Garanti Securities. Comert said comments from credit rating agency Fitch indicating that a rating upgrade ws unlikely to come soon had also contributed to the sell-off in Turkish assets. \"The lira can weaken to 1.84 versus the dollar,\" he said. In its newly-published global Sovereign Review and Outlook, Fitch said although Turkey appears to be close to a soft landing, the current account deficit will remain high at $61 billion, equivalent to 7.7 percent of GDP in 2012. Much of Turkey\'s current account deficit is financed by short-term debt and portfolio inflows, leaving it vulnerable to more acute volatility in the euro zone. The lira weakened late on Friday after news that Syrian forces had shot down a Turkish jet, and slipped further on Monday on worries about an escalation of tensions. Troops are now being deployed along the two countries\' border. Turkish Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci said on Thursday the bank\'s inflation forecast might be revised downwards if commodity prices remain low. He expected a significant fall in the fourth quarter, but said June inflation may rise due to base effects. The Turkish central bank has a 6.5 percent mid-point forecast for annual inflation and a 5 percent target this year. Rates were kept on hold at the central bank\'s policy meeting on June 21 but suggestions of a less aggressive stance on inflation increased market speculation of a possible interest rate cut. In the meeting\'s minutes, the bank said inflation will follow a more positive trend in the months ahead. The yield on Turkey\'s two-year benchmark bond closed at 8.62 percent, from 8.65 percent on Wednesday. Traders said rate cut expectations and a more favourable inflation outlook had boosted bonds. Istanbul\'s main share index closed 0.59 percent down at 60,822 points, in line with a 0.63 percent fall in the MSCI emerging markets index. Shares of Yapi Kredi Sigorta rose for a second day, and closed 2.87 percent up at 17.90 lira, after owner Turkish lender Yapi Kredi said on Wednesday it had decided to assess options for selling shares of Yapi Kredi Sigorta and Yapi Kredi Emeklilik.

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