Turkish Lira Hits Record Low
The Turkish lira hit record lows against the dollar as expectations of faster tightening by the US Federal Reserve added to domestic economic and political pressures emerging market equities in general slipped 0.4%.
The lira was down more than 2% to $3.72 after Friday’s data showed US wages rose in December prompting US rate hike expectations, Reuters reported.
“The lira has always been one of the most exposed EM currencies to any sign that monetary policy in the US will tighten because of its large external financing requirement,” said William Jackson, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics.
“Turkish domestic policymaking is playing a role too as it seems the central bank is responding to political pressure not to raise interest rates, so it is likely to be behind the curve in reacting to pressure in the currency,” he added.
The lira lost 3.2% last week, pounded by higher-than-expected inflation and security fears after a series of gun and bomb attacks. The economy has remained sluggish, with a smaller-than-expected rise in industrial production in November, whilst Moody’s has warned that bank profits will be hit by increased non-performing loans.
Turkish five-year credit default swaps rose 3 basis points from Friday’s close to 273 bps, whilst the yield premium paid by Turkish sovereign bonds over US Treasuries on the JPMorgan EMBI Global Diversified widened out 9 bps to 359 bps.