(Updates with closing figures)
ISTANBUL, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The Turkish lira and bonds closed stronger on Monday while stocks lost marginally as Turkish markets settled into a holiday range, reflecting global trading sentiment.
The dollar retreated after the U.S. government’s $17.4 billion of rescue loans to ailing automakers last week gave investors more reason to take on riskier emerging market assets such as the high-yielding Turkish currency.
The lira IYIX= closed at 1.5180 against the dollar on the interbank market, firming 0.3 percent from a close of 1.5225 on Friday. The currency has nearly a quarter of its value this year.
The Istanbul index of leading shares .XU100 closed down 0.02 percent at 26,199 points, outperforming the MSCI index .MSCIEF of emerging market shares which was 1.84 percent weaker, as analysts said a short-lived rally in emerging markets which began in late November looked to have ran out of steam.
The yield on the benchmark June 23, 2010 bond <0#TRTSYSUM=IS> fell further to 16.92 after Friday’s close of 17.15 percent. Bonds have rallied since the central bank on Thursday lowered the benchmark borrowing rate by 125 basis points to 15.00 percent in a larger-than-expected cut.
“We expect the benchmark bond to stay below 17 percent in the coming days with quiet trade due to the holiday abroad,” said one bond trader.
The bond market is awaiting the Turkish Treasury’s borrowing programme for 2009, in which it will reveal how much it aims to borrow next year.
More than 70 percent of Turkish stocks are owned by foreigners and holidays abroad usually mean lower trading volume on the Istanbul bourse. Turkish television maker Grundig Elektronik BEKO.IS, formerly Beko Elektronik, said on Monday it had cut its workforce by 25 percent in response to shrinking domestic and international markets. Its shares traded flat at 0.38 lira.
Further gloom came from the real economy sector with news that tyre maker Brisa Bridgestone Sabanci BRISA.IS, a joint venture of Sabanci Holding SAHOL.IS and Bridgestone Corp 5108.T would suspends production from Dec 20-29 due to falling demand.
In a new signal of economic deterioration, official data showed that the number of new firms set up in November plunged 37 percent from a year ago.
The Central Bank’s twice-monthly survey of business expectations showed that growth was seen at 2.0 percent in 2008, down from 2.3 percent previous estimate.
Turkish Airlines THYAO.IS edged up 1.98 percent after it signed on Monday a deal to buy a 49 percent stake in Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation's flag carrier BH Airlines.
Traders said they did not expect new developments from the International Monetary Fund, which is holding talks on a new loan deal with Turkey. An IMF team is due in Turkey in January. (Reporting by Selcuk Gokoluk and Alexandra Hudson; editing by Tony Austin)
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