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Lira Weakens 1st Day in 4 as Greek Elections Relief Short-Lived

The lira fell for the first time in four days, reversing earlier gains, as record-high Spanish bond yields reflected concern the euro zone’s debt crisis may not be contained in Greece.

The Turkish currency weakened 0.3 percent to 1.8174 per dollar at 4:05 p.m. in Istanbul, heading for the biggest depreciation in almost a week. The decline pared the lira’s gain this year to 4 percent, the third-best among more than 20 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg after Colombia’s peso and Hungary’s forint.

Greek poll winner Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy party and the Pasok party won enough seats yesterday to control the 300- member parliament if they were to join forces in a coalition government, easing concern Greece would be forced out of the 17- member currency bloc. The lira gained as much as 0.6 percent to 1.8073 in early trading today.

“At least we avoided the catastrophic tail-risk scenario,” Benoit Anne, the head of emerging-markets strategy at Societe Generale SA (GLE) in London, said in an e-mailed note to clients. “But it looks like that in itself has not been enough to provide a sustained boost to risk sentiment. These days in Europe, it is all about bond yields.”

Spanish 10-year bond yields rose above 7 percent for the first time since the euro’s creation today as a jump in bad loans fueled concern Europe’s debt crisis is deepening. Italy’s 10-year yield climbed for the first time in three days, up 14 basis points to 6.06 percent.

Yields on Turkey’s two-year benchmark bonds were unchanged at 9.11 percent after falling as much as 7 basis points in earlier trading.

Turkey’s stock market also gave up gains recorded in the morning session, declining 0.2 percent and heading for its first loss in 12 days, ending the longest streak of gains since 1993.

To contact the reporter on this story: Benjamin Harvey in Istanbul at bharvey11@bloomberg.net

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

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