Turkey ramps up efforts to defend currency ahead of elections

30 March, 2019, 14:54 | Author: Mary Valdez
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the supporters of his ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, during a rally in Adiyaman, Turkey, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, ahead of local elections scheduled for March 31, 2019.

Turkey's central bank on Thursday sought to reassure investors over its foreign currency reserves after the sharpest drop in the local lira since a spat with the United States triggered a currency crisis previous year.

Erdogan on Thursday also said Turkey has to cut interest rates or the problem with high inflation will persist. Meanwhile, his habit of putting pressure on the central bank to keep interest rates low is a recurrent headache. After recovering losses early this week, the lira fell again around 5 percent to 5.59 against the dollar on Thursday morning.

The BDDK issued two statements on Saturday which said there had been complaints over "misleading and manipulative" guidance from JP Morgan and other unnamed banks.

"Investors who try to buy large amounts of foreign currency quickly with the thought that the lira is cheap and will remain that way were not able to find liras for the foreign currency that they acquired", Aydın said.

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The West fears a strong Turkey, which acts exclusively in its own interests, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trend reports referring to the Turkish media. The tables have turned. "As interest rates are brought down, inflation will fall", CNBC cited the Turkish leader as saying. "While they can't do this, the lira firms and the dollar falls", Erdogan said.

The lira had weakened to 5.8490 on Friday before settling at 5.7625, its lowest closing value since October.

The lira lost nearly a third of its value last year and has weakened 6.2 percent this year.

He said: "The psychological factor of losing the capital, losing one of the big cities in Turkey, could be perceived by voters as the beginning of the decline". He added that Turkey needed to "discipline speculators in the market".

Piotr Matys, an EM FX strategist at Rabobank, said in a note: "The response from the administration to the outcome of this crucial vote - seen by many as a referendum on President (Tayyip) Erdogan and his executive powers - will be critical for the lira and local assets".



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