Turkey's lira, this year's worst- performing currency, may tumble as the record current-account deficit and rising inflation undermine the central bank's week- long attempt to stem the decline, options prices show.
The lira sank to a two-year-low of 1.73 on July 25. Central bank chief Erdem Basci, who had encouraged a weaker lira to reduce the current account, resisted further depreciation by suspending dollar-purchase auctions and returning $590 million to banks through reduced reserve requirements.
The lira fell as much as 0.8 per cent to 1.7236 per dollar, before trading down less than 0.1 per cent at 1.7103, taking this year's decline to 9.8 per cent. There's an 86 per cent chance that the lira will hit 1.75 per dollar by year-end, according to implied probability calculated from currency options contracts.
"Investors will probably try to take the lira back to previous lows beyond 1.72 per dollar," Luis Costa, emerging-markets strategist at Citigroup said. "The central bank will definitely be tempted to intervene verbally or de-facto again. The question is: What is the central bank's pain threshold?"
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The lira pared losses yesterday after inflation accelerated less than economists estimated. The central bank said it planned to hold a meeting of its rates-setting committee Wednesday.