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Turkish Stocks Advance Seventh Day After Foreign Trade Data

The Istanbul Stock Exchange climbed for a seventh day, led by industrial companies, after a report showed the foreign trade deficit in February was smaller than analysts estimated.

Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS, Turkey’s second-largest industrial group, advanced 1.4 percent, the most since March 18. TAV Havalimanlari Holding AS, the country’s biggest airport operator, rose 7.3 percent to the highest level since at least February 2007. The Istanbul Stock Exchange National 100 Index added 0.8 percent at the close in Istanbul, extending its quarterly gain to 9.8 percent. The bourse’s industrials index advanced 0.8 percent to a record.

Turkey’s foreign trade deficit was $6.96 billion in February, beating all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of six economists and compared with a median estimate of $8.8 billion. Exports rose 5.8 percent to $12.4 billion in the month, while imports climbed 9 percent to $19.4 billion, according to data released today by the statistics office in Ankara.

“The data has mostly helped industrials, as it reflects a healthy balance in the economy,” Goksel Tekiner, an analyst at Yatirim Finansman Securities in Istanbul, said in a phone interview today. “Plus, we don’t have any bad news from abroad that could hurt equities, with most markets being closed for Easter.”

Stocks extended gains after reports showed U.S. consumer spending increased the most in five months in February and confidence among American consumers unexpectedly rose in March from the prior month.

Low Volume

Trading volume for shares in the benchmark gauge was 12 percent less than the 30-day average as markets were closed in most of Europe and the U.S. for holidays.

This month’s rally comes after Standard & Poor’s raised Turkey’s credit rating to one level below investment grade on March 27 after the market closed, citing rebalancing in the economy, resilience to potential shifts in capital inflows and movement toward a political settlement to resolve tensions with Turkey’s Kurdish population.

The benchmark index jumped 1.3 percent yesterday. The gauge gained 53 percent last year, the best performance worldwide after Venezuela’s stock index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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