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Lira Rises on Expectation Central Bank May Sell More Dollars

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The lira gained against the dollar, rising from the lowest in more than two years, on bets that the central bank will increase the amount of dollars it sells in an auction today and Europe’s central bank signaled it’s ready to buy Italian and Spanish bonds.

The lira rose for the first day in three, strengthening 0.5 percent to 1.7370 at 10:07 a.m. in Istanbul, trimming its five-day loss to 2.5 percent. The currency earlier fell to 1.7566, extending the lowest level since March 2009.

The central bank, which has about $93 billion of foreign currency reserves, will announce the amount of dollars it will sell at 11 a.m. It sold $50 million in a first such daily auction on Aug. 5.

The central bank should sell between $150 million and $200 million in today’s auction, Henza Tukel, currency trader at Turk Ekonomi Bankasi AS, said in emailed comments.

Governor Erdem Basci is seeking to shore up the lira as counterparts in Japan and Switzerland do the opposite, trying to stem currency gains as global market losses drive investors toward the safest assets.

Basci is due to speak in televised interviews on CNBC-e news channel at 11 a.m. and Bloomberg HT television at 2 p.m.

To contact the reporter on this story: Selcuk Gokoluk in Istanbul at sgokoluk@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Bentley at mbentley3@bloomberg.net

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