* Lira steady, yields down in thin volume
* Shares just below flat
* Markets neutral to trade data, repo auctions
ISTANBUL, Dec 30 (Reuters) - The Turkish lira traded steady against the dollar and the benchmark yield declined slightly on Friday while there was a neutral market reaction to central bank repo auctions and better-than-expected trade data.
The Turkish Central Bank held a one-month repo auction maturing on Jan. 27 with a volume of 3 billion lira ($1.56 billion) and an average rate of 11.34 percent, bank data showed .
The bank was also holding a one-week intraday repo auction with a volume of 2 billion lira ($1.04 billion).
The auctions were being held according to the standard auction method where banks tell the central bank the amount they want and the interest rate they are ready to pay, contrary to the regular one-week repo auction in which the rate is fixed.
The yield on Turkey’s benchmark bond maturing on Dec. 4, 2013 stood at 10.92 percent in early over-the-counter trade compared with a previous close at 10.98 percent.
“Currently the market is comfortable with the liquidity level. The fact that the central bank held a 15 billion lira repo auction yesterday eased liquidity conditions,” said a fixed income trader at one bank.
Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci said on Wednesday the bank would hold intraday one-week repo auctions within the framework of the bank’s open market operations strategy on “exceptional days”.
Turkish markets shrugged off a better-than-expected trade deficit data.
Turkey’s trade deficit narrowed 2.8 percent year-on-year in November to $7.533 billion, data showed, less than a forecast deficit of $8.15 billion in a Reuters poll.
By 0923 GMT, the lira traded steady at 1.9163 against the dollar, compared with 1.9185 on Thursday afternoon.
The lira touched a record low of 1.9215 in late trade on Wednesday due to concerns about monetary policy measures.
“We continue to foresee that in the absence of a severe recession the improvement in external balances will be very gradual. This means that forex demand in the market will ease, but to a limited extent,” wrote Ozgur Altug, chief economist at BGC Partners.
Against its euro-dollar basket, the lira traded at 2.1977 compared with a previous close of 2.1992.
Istanbul’s main share index was down 0.05 percent at 52,028.39 points, just underperforming the MSCI emerging markets index, which was up 0.01 percent.
“For the day ahead, we expect Turkish stocks to resume its recent uptrend and end the year on an upbeat,” wrote analysts at Alkhair Capital.
As of December 29, Turkish main stock index dipped 21.1 percent compared to the end of 2010. (Writing by Seltem Iyigun; Editing by Daren Butler)