Turkey's lira hits record low after jumbo rate cut
Shafaq News / The Turkish lira edged higher on Thursday after briefly hitting a record low as the country’s central bank cut rates more than expected, while a dip in the dollar offered some respite to other emerging market currencies.
The lira stood at 18.58 against the dollar, up from Wednesday’s close of 18.6 and a record low of 18.6150 it touched briefly after the rate announcement.
Turkey’s central bank delivered a bigger-than-expected 150 basis-point cut to 10.5%, and promised to halt the easing cycle urged by President Tayyip Erdogan after another similarly-hefty cut next month.
“The interest rate cut doesn’t make sense at the current levels because inflation is way too high,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote.
“It’s like a time bomb. As long as money pours in, the central bank will be able to spend all this money in order to keep the dollar pretty much stable,” Ozkardeskaya said. “But if the money just stops coming in, then Turkey won’t be able to keep the lira at the current levels against U.S. dollar.”
The central bank has cut its policy rate by 350 bps so far after surprise 100 bps cuts in August and September, despite inflation soaring above 83% in September.
Overall, emerging market currencies edged 0.1% higher, while stocks fell 0.4%.
China’s yuan erased early losses and inched up against the dollar after media reports that China is considering reducing the COVID-19 quarantine time for inbound travellers to seven days from 10.
China’s blue-chip CSI300 Index also recouped some of its losses, closing down 0.6% after falling as much as 1.3% earlier in the day.
China kept its benchmark lending rates unchanged for a second straight month, in line with expectations, as authorities held off unleashing more monetary stimulus to avoid stark policy divergence with other major economies.
Among other EM currencies, the South African rand added 0.2% against a softer dollar.
Most central and eastern European currencies advanced against the euro, with the Hungarian forint leading gains.
Poland's zloty rose 0.5% against the euro. Data showed Polish producer prices rose 24.6% year-over-year in September, below forecast. For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2022.