May 21, 2020 / 11:09 AM / 10 days ago

Turkish cenbank trims rates by 50 pts in face of coronavirus

ISTANBUL, May 21 (Reuters) - Turkey’s central bank cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 8.25% as expected on Thursday, taking advantage of recent lira strength to keep supporting the economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The bank lowered its benchmark one-week repo rate from 8.75%, marking its ninth straight cut in an aggressive easing cycle that began last July when it was 24%.

The move comes despite investor concerns over Turkey’s depleted FX reserves that pushed the Turkish lira to an all-time low on May 7. The currency has since rallied on expectations of foreign funding, easing the risk of inflation.

In a Reuters poll of 15 economists, the median estimate was for a cut of 50 basis points, with estimates ranging between cuts of 25 to 100 points. (Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)

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