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Turkey’s Trade Gap Balloons in April Sending Bonds, Lira Lower

Turkey’s trade deficit widened more than expected to $10.3 billion in April, sending bond yields higher and the lira down.

The gap widened 55 percent from a year earlier, the statistics office in Ankara said on its website today. It was forecast at $7.8 billion, according to the median estimate of five economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The monthly deficit was the biggest since September 2011.

The lira reversed gains after the data were published, dropping 0.3 percent to 1.8798 at 10:10 a.m. in Istanbul. The currency has dropped 4.6 percent against the dollar this month. Yields on benchmark two-year lira bonds jumped 18 basis points to 5.97 percent, heading for an eight-week high.

Turkey’s central bank has cut its benchmark interest rate for the past two months, reducing it to 4.5 percent as it sought to weaken the lira and make the country’s exports more competitive.

Exports fell 0.9 percent from a year earlier in April to $12.5 billion, while imports jumped 18 percent to $22.8 billion, the statistics office said.

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