Lira Drops Most in Week as Euro-Area Concern Dents Risk Appetite

The Turkish lira weakened the most in more than a week as concern about the economic growth in Europe prompted investors to sell riskier assets.

The lira depreciated 0.3 percent, its biggest drop since Feb. 6, to 1.7709 against the dollar at 5:05 p.m. in Istanbul, the first decline in three days, paring this year’s gain to 0.8 percent. Yields on two-year benchmark notes dropped for the first time in five days, retreating five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 5.77 percent.

The euro-area gross domestic product fell 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the most since the first quarter of 2009 in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and exceeded the 0.4 percent median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey. EU countries bought 39.2 percent of Turkish exports in December, according to official data.

“Pretty much we are currently seeing a risk off move, which was triggered first by the worse-than-expected euro-area gross domestic product figures,” Thu Lan Nguyen, a currency strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in e-mailed comments.

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