ECONOMY

EU concerns drive Turkish lira lower around a key level

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s lira slid as much as 1 percent yesterday to hover around a key technical level, as growing concerns about obstacles in Turkey’s European Union bid knocked the market lower. The lira weakened to 1.4780 to the dollar, down 1.0 percent on Tuesday’s close. It recovered to close at 1.4680 but weakened again in after-hours trade. Turkey has rejected as «blackmail» EU demands it open its ports to EU member Cyprus by December 6. «The market seems to have been able to brush (the EU process) off until recently… But some of the statements we’ve had have suggested there’s going to be very little progress,» Sarah Hewin, economist at American Express, said. Danske Bank said on Tuesday 1.4751 was a key resistance level and if it was broken decisively the lira could head to 1.50 against the greenback. Istanbul’s main stock index fell 2 percent to 37,733.58 points, attributed to EU concerns. «The EU issue is troubling. Although there’s a possibility they’ll find a solution, the market doesn’t want to take the risk,» Koc Portfolio’s Ersoy Erkazanci said, adding foreigners were selling.