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Turkish Lira Rallies Second Day, Yields Fall as Oil Price Slips

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The lira strengthened for a second day and yields fell for the first time in five days after oil prices retreated from their highs.

The Turkish currency appreciated 0.4 percent to 1.7593 at 11:32 a.m. in Istanbul. Yields on two-year benchmark debt retreated four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 9.30 percent. WTI Crude April futures ended last week at 109.77, the highest since May.

Oil prices dropped for a second day in New York on speculation rising U.S. stockpiles signal easing fuel demand as crude trades near the highest price in nine months. Turkey depends on imports for almost all of its energy requirements. It paid $54 billion last year for energy imports, 22 percent of its total import bill, the Ankara-based statistics office shows, pushing the nation’s current-account deficit to a record high at 10 percent of gross domestic product.

“We are seeing a reaction in the market and oil prices provided the excuse and gave depth to this movement,” Bulent Topbas, a fund manager who helps manage $100 million at Strateji Menkul Degerler in Istanbul, said in e-mailed comments.

The lira has rallied 7.5 percent this year after slumping 18 percent last year in the biggest decline worldwide. Yields on Turkish two-year benchmark debt have fallen 171 basis points this year after soaring 390 basis points last year.

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

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

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