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Lira Strengthens Second Day on Corporate Sales for Tax Payments

The Turkish lira appreciated for a second day and bond yields fell as foreign-exchange sales by companies for year-end tax payments outweighed a less-than-expected fall in the nation’s trade deficit in November.

The lira gained 0.1 percent against the dollar to 1.7872 at 5:05 p.m. in Istanbul, the strongest level since Dec. 20. The currency earlier dropped as much as 0.2 percent. Yields on benchmark debt fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 6.15 percent.

“Companies are selling foreign-exchange for tax payments,” Emir Baruh, a currency trader at Akbank TAS, said in e-mailed comments.

The trade gap was $7.16 billion in the month, the statistics office in Ankara said on its website today, bigger than the $6 billion median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of five economists. The deficit fell from $7.57 billion a year ago. Imports rose 13 percent to $21 billion, increasing for the first time since May. Exports rose 25 percent to $13.8 billion.

The lira gained 5.8 percent this year, the third-largest gain in emerging Europe after the Polish zloty and the Hungarian forint. The currency sank 18 percent last year in the biggest depreciation globally as the current-account deficit hit a record high at 10 percent of gross domestic product.

Yields on two-year lira benchmark bonds fell 486 basis points this year, heading for the biggest annual fall since 2009.

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