ECONOMY

Turkish markets gain on optimism of election of a strong government

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish markets rose yesterday as investors expected the July 22 general elections would produce a single-party government, while gains on foreign markets also boosted sentiment. The lira rose to fresh highs last seen in March 2005, strengthening 0.7 percent to close at 1.2840 against the dollar from 1.2930 on Friday. Istanbul’s main stock index ended up 2.78 percent at a fresh record high of 51,281.85, having already hit four consecutive record closing levels last week. «The Turkish market is moving independently of developments abroad. There are more gains than on foreign markets and the reason for this is that the market is looking beyond the election,» said Gedik Investment analyst Yunus Kaya. He added the market envisaged a strong, single-party government, based on opinion polls and that the index would hold above the 50,000 level until the election takes place. A poll published by Raymond James Securities indicated yesterday that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would gain enough seats in parliament to produce a single-party government.