Turkish shares hit new high, lira weakens

ISTANBUL Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:02am EST

ISTANBUL Jan 18 (Reuters) - Turkish shares hit a record high for the fifth consecutive day on Friday, while the lira eased slightly after hitting its strongest level versus the dollar for 10 months in the previous session.

Investors are focused largely on the central bank's monthly policy meeting next week.

By 1541 GMT, the lira was at 1.7612 per dollar, slightly weaker than 1.7536 late on Thursday. Against its euro-dollar basket, it eased to 2.0529 from 2.0476.

The lira hit 1.7513 to the dollar, a 10-month high, in after-hours trade on Thursday, buoyed by the positive economic outlook and expectations that Turkey's sovereign credit rating will be upgraded.

Analysts said the outcome of the central bank's policy meeting on Jan. 22 would determine the trend in the lira.

The main Istanbul share index closed up 0.17 percent at 85,004 points, underperforming a 0.66 percent rise in global emerging markets, after earlier hitting a new record high of 85,596.65 points.

Automobile maker Karsan jumped 4.2 percent to 1.24 lira after it signed a letter of intent with French carmaker Renault to develop and produce the Dokker leisure activity vehicle developed by manufacturer Dacia.

The yield on the two-year benchmark bond closed at 5.96 percent, from Thursday's close at 6 percent. (Writing by Seltem Iyigun; Editing by Catherine Evans)