July 16 (Bloomberg) -- The lira strengthened to its highest level in more than two weeks as investors speculated the Turkish central bank will raise interest rates this month and Credit Suisse Group AG recommended buying the currency.
The lira appreciated for a second day and traded up 0.6 percent to 1.9216 per dollar by 6:12 p.m. in Istanbul, its highest level on a closing basis since June 27. Yields on two-year benchmark lira notes fell 10 basis points, or 0.10 percentage point, to 8.85 percent, after dropping 64 basis points in previous two days.
Credit Suisse raised its forecast for the lira against the dollar to 1.89 from 2.00 previously over the next three months, Bernd Berg, a strategist in Zurich, said in an interview today. Turkey’s central bank said yesterday “a measured step to widen the interest-rate corridor” will be on the agenda at its meeting on July 23 after it spent $6.4 billion in foreign exchange sales since June 11 to shore up the currency. The lira fell to a record low of 1.9740 on July 8.
“The lira at 1.93 versus the dollar was an important level and we have broken with the central bank statement,” Burcin Metin, head of currency trading at ING Bank AS in Istanbul, wrote in e-mailed comments. “Expectations that the central bank will widen the corridor” is spurring the lira’s gain today, he said.
One-year interest-rate swaps in Turkey jumped as high as 9.73 percent yesterday, the strongest level in more than a year. The rate traded up 85 basis points to 9.3 percent today.
“Central bank measures to support the lira in combination with a more supportive external environment ease pressure on the lira,” Credit Suisse’s Berg said.
Outflows from Turkish markets stopped in four of the last five days and inflows have resumed, Capital Markets Board Chairman Vahdettin Ertas said in an interview with CNBC-e television in Istanbul today.
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