Turk stocks underperform, Iraq incursion, headscarf issue weigh on sentiment

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish stocks fell yesterday, underperforming other emerging markets, with concerns over an incursion into northern Iraq and a reform allowing the headscarf into universities weighing on sentiment. The lira closed on the interbank market at 1.2005 to the dollar, a shade stronger than its previous close of 1.2035, while the yield on the benchmark October 7 2009 bond was flat on the day at 16.84 percent, but rose to 16.89 percent in Tuesday-dated trade. The main share index closed 1.53 percent lower at 44,895 points, reversing earlier gains and underperforming a 0.53 percent rise on the emerging market stocks index. «Volumes and cash inflow are weak. It’s because of the internal dynamics of the market: It couldn’t break through the resistance level,» said Zeynel Abidin Balci, head of research at Acar Securities. «Part of it could be northern Iraq,» he said, adding that there was resistance on the index at 46,500-47,000 points and support at 45,000 points. Shares in small-cap fertilizer maker Gubre Fabrikalari bucked the trend, rising 10.45 percent after the company said its consortium had won approval to buy Iran’s Razi Petrochemical in a privatization deal. Gubre had said last week the consortium, in which it had a 50 percent stake, had made the highest bid worth -463 million for the firm.