Bloomberg News

Lira Drops to 1-Month Low as Yields Rise on Inflation Above 10%

March 05, 2012

The lira headed for a one-month low and yields rose as inflation remained at twice the central bank’s target even after declining to 10.4 percent in February and as China reduced its economic growth target.

The lira weakened 0.2 percent to 1.7717 per dollar at 5:37 p.m. in Istanbul, on course for its lowest level since Jan. 31. Yields (BENCH) on the two-year benchmark debt climbed one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 9.25 percent, their third day of advances, according to a Turk Ekonomi Bankasi AS (TEBNK) index.

The inflation rate fell for the first time in five months, reaching 10.4 percent in February from a three-year peak of 10.6 percent a month earlier, the statistics agency in Ankara said on its website today. The central bank’s target for 2012 inflation is 5 percent. Emerging-market assets retreated after China set the lowest economic growth target since 2004 at 7.5 percent and euro-area manufacturing and services data missed estimates.

“The CPI confirms the central bank has to maintain a tight monetary policy to achieve the inflation target,” Murat Toprak, chief currency strategist for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at HSBC Holdings Plc in London, said in e-mailed comments.

Inflation surged last year when the lira weakened 18 percent in the biggest depreciation worldwide, prompting central bank governor Erdem Basci to adopt a monetary policy of variable interest rates to squeeze liquidity and help manage volatile capital flows. The Turkish currency has strengthened 6.7 percent this year, the fifth-best performance among emerging markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as the country’s current- account deficit narrowed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Selcuk Gokoluk in Istanbul at sgokoluk@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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