Turkey’s lira strengthened on Monday after central bank (CB) governor Erdem Basci moved to talk the currency up and the bank offered support by keeping the level of its daily dollar auction high. Bond yields were flat and shares rose in tandem with global risk appetite. The lira strengthened to 1.7680 versus the dollar by 0936 GMT from 1.7720 in early morning trade.The local currency has lost around 12 per cent against the greenback so far this year, a slide the central bank acted to address earlier this month by introducing daily dollar auctions, the size of which Basci said on Friday it might increase in coming days.
In an interview on CNN Turk television on Monday, Basci said the lira was 5 to 10 per cent lower than it should be against a euro/dollar basket.“Taking into consideration Basci’s comments, we calculate the lira should be between 1.95-2.05 versus (the) basket instead of the current level of 2.15 and it should be between 1.60-1.68 versus the dollar,” said Tufan Comert, a strategist at Garanti Securities.“We expect the lira to fluctuate between 1.75-1.80 (against the dollar) in the short term, however we expect it to appreciate in the last quarter.”
Hit by mounting concerns over Turkey’s vulnerability to external economic shocks as well as an unexpected interest rate cut - the lira recouped some of its losses on Friday, closing at 1.7790 to the dollar.That followed a forex auction for $100 million - one of the biggest since daily sales were introduced on Aug.5 - and the bank kept up the pressure on Monday by announcing an auction of the same size.“The decline of the lira compared to ten emerging (currencies) reached its maximum, which we believe is the reason for the increase of daily auction amounts... The central bank could continue to sell relatively high amounts of currencies for a while and this can increase downward pressures on USD/TRY,” said Fatih Keresteci, strategist at HSBC.
Markets showed no reaction to Statistics Institute data showing Turkey’s unemployment rate fell to 9.4 per cent in the April to June period from 9.9 per cent in March-May.
From / Gulf Today