Lira Weakens a Second Day After European Union Rejects Bailout for Greece

The lira depreciated for a second day and headed for the lowest close this month as European Union’s refusal to deliver bailout for neighboring Greece weighed on the Turkish assets.

The Turkish currency declined 0.6 percent at 1.7633 per dollar at 10:02 a.m. in Istanbul, heading for the biggest decline this year and the lowest level since Jan. 31. Yields (BENCH) on the benchmark two-year bond rose seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage points, to 9.40 percent, a Turk Ekonomi Bankasi AS index of the securities showed.

European finance ministers held back a rescue package for Greece in a rebuff that left lawmakers in Athens under government pressure to endorse a newly minted austerity plan or exit the euro. The refusal to deliver a 130 billion-euro ($173 billion) bailout for Greece reflected the euro area’s frustration with the country’s bickering politicians and the prospect that they may again backtrack on fiscal commitments not passed into law.

“We are shifting our positive position on the lira and lira-linked investment instruments to cautious on the face of these risks,” Fatih Keresteci, a strategist at HSBC Bank AS in Istanbul, said in an e-mailed note.

The lira gained 7.2 percent this year against the dollar, after sinking 18 percent last year, as credit growth and an expansion in trade deficit slowed as a result of higher lending rates of as much as 12.5 percent by the central bank. Risk appetite for emerging markets was also spurred this month after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said U.S. interest rates will remain exceptionally low for longer and hinted there would be a third round of quantitative easing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Selcuk Gokoluk in Istanbul at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at

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