Turkish lira remains weak against US dollar

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Turkey’s lira Reuters. Turkish lira banknotes are seen in this picture illustration taken in Istanbul in this file picture.

Ankara - The Turkish lira remained at low levels on Monday and started the day at 2.33 despite the central bank's intervention in the foreign exchange market last week.

The lira tumbled to 2.3331 to the dollar and 3.1950 to the euro in morning trading.

The Istanbul stock exchange lost by 0.28 percent to reach 64,246.67 points.

Last week, Turkey's central bank ploughed at least $2 billion into the foreign exchange market to shore up the currency, which has been hitting record lows almost daily this year.

The bank has statutory independence but has been under strong political pressure not to raise interest rates.

The fall of the lira is rooted in an escalating political crisis and concerns about the economy.

But government officials have played down the impact of the crisis on the economy as being only “temporary”.

The central bank has so far refrained from raising interest rates to defend the lira amid government concerns that any rise in rates could jeopardise the growth target.

The government has been forecasting that growth will pick up from an expected rate of 3.6 percent in 2013 to 4.0 percent for this year - still down from more than 8.0 percent achieved in 2010 and 2011. - Sapa-AFP

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