ECONOMY

Turkish stock market rises to three-year high

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s stock index traded at its highest levels in over three years yesterday and debt and the lira firmed as recent economic data showed Turkey was set to beat IMF-backed targets for inflation and growth in 2003. The main share index in Istanbul rose to 17,101.19 points, the highest intraday level since April 7, 2000, though it closed the day down 0.31 percent at 16,861.01 points. The lira ended at 1,430,000 to the dollar from Monday’s 1,436,500, while closely watched December 15, 2004 debt firmed to yields of 28.09 percent from 28.51 on Monday. «Profit-taking sales are coming as the stock index passes 17,000 points. But there are not sufficient sales to break the general upward trend,» said Umit Sener at Yatirim Financing. Turkey on Monday said industrial output jumped 12.3 percent in October, well above market expectations and raising hopes a year-end gross national product (GNP) growth target of 5 percent will be beaten. The State Statistics Institute is due to release third-quarter GNP and gross domestic product (GDP) data today. Last week the IMF debtor released inflation data showing consumer prices (CPI) falling just below a target of 20 percent set for the end of the year. The lira has firmed 14.94 percent since the end of 2002 as Turkey’s economy, underpinned by a $16 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) pact, recovered strongly from a financial crisis that peaked early in 2001. A regular central bank poll of business and financial leaders released yesterday saw CPI at 19.1 percent by end 2003 from 19.2 percent seen in a similar poll two weeks previously. The poll also predicted year-end GNP at 5.4 percent from a previously estimated 5.3 percent. The lira would trade at 1,479,900 to the dollar by the end of December, the poll said. Markets rose despite a treasury auction of 679-day dollar debt that brought yields and volume below market expectations.