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Turkey's lira hits new record low vs dollar, c.bank intervenes

Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 | 11:14 AM ET

ISTANBUL, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Turkey's lira touched a new record low against the dollar on Thursday, forcing the central bank to intervene directly in the forex market to halt the slide, bankers said.

Two days ago the central bank left interest rates on hold and on Wednesday it failed to meet market expectations for earlier and longer additional tightening, triggering further losses in the currency.

Turkey's lira weakened as far as 2.3050 against the dollar by 1544 GMT from 2.2635 late on Wednesday. By 1613 GMT it was at 2.289.

A corruption scandal shaking the government and fears about the impact of cuts to U.S. monetary stimulus have sent the lira down 10 percent against the dollar over the past month, and investors had been crying out for a rate hike to defend it.

The yield on the 10-year benchmark bond rose to 10.37 percent from 10.10 percent a day earlier.

The main Istanbul stock index closed down 2.88 percent at 65,429.29 points, underperforming the main global emerging market index, which fell 1.08 percent.

(Reporting by Seda Sezer, Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Mark Trevelyan)