Turkey central bank to keep interest rates on hold – poll

Turkey’s central bank is expected to keep interest rates unchanged at a meeting on Thursday, according to a poll of economists by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Fifteen of 21 economists forecast that the bank would hold its benchmark rate at 17 percent, Anadolu said in a survey published late last week. Of the six expecting a change, forecasts ranged between a hike of 0.75 percentage points and 1 percentage point, it said.

The central bank more than doubled the one-week repo rate, now its only lending rate, from 8.25 percent between September and December to help defend the lira and rein in inflation. It kept borrowing costs for banks unchanged in January.

The rate hikes have helped the lira rally about 20 percent from a record low of 8.58 per dollar in early November. The lira was trading up 0.3 percent at 7.01 per dollar at 9:56 a.m. local time on Monday.