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  • USD/TRY adds to Tuesday’s losses and approach 7.50.
  • Turkey’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate came in at 12.2%.
  • US inflation figures disappointed expectations in February.

The Turkish lira extends its upside momentum and drag USD/TRY to the vicinity of 7.50, or 2-day lows, on Wednesday.

USD/TRY lower on USD-selling

USD/TRY is down for the second session in a row following recent 2021 highs in the vicinity of the 7.80 level.

The renewed selling bias in the greenback on the back of declining US yields favours the return of inflows into the EM FX space, where the Turkish lira is one of the main beneficiaries due to its high real interest rates.

In the domestic docket, the Unemployment Rate in Turkey ticked lower to 12.2% during January (from 12.6%), while the Employment Rate improved to 43.8% (from 42.6%).

In the US data space, headline CPI rose 0.4% MoM and 1.7% on a year to February, while the Core CPPI rose 0.1% MoM and 1.3% YoY.

What to look for around TRY

The lira gathers fresh upside traction and drags USD/TRY to the 7.50 region, following dollar’s weakness and despite concerns over the ability of the central bank to curb inflation pressure. On the latter, investors continue to closely watch the CBRT, as the likeliness of a rate hike at the next meeting has started to pick up pace. The improved sentiment in the dollar has been undermining the lira’s momentum since late February, which was sustained by the CBRT’s commitment to fight high inflation via an orthodox approach of the monetary conditions. Additionally, the central bank appears to have regained some lost credibility/independence during the past months and this is no minor issue considering the well-known opinion of President Erdogan when comes to higher interest rates. The lira will closely follow this theme in 2021 along with the Biden’s Administration stance on Turkey, the post-pandemic recovery and occasional bouts of geopolitical effervescence.

Key events in Turkey this week: Retail Sales, Industrial Production (Thursday).

Eminent issues on the back boiler: Carry trade expected to benefit the lira into H2 2021. Potential US, EU sanctions against Ankara. Government pressure on the CBRT vs. bank’s credibility/independence. Bouts of geopolitical concerns. Much-needed structural reforms. Growth outlook vs. progress of the coronavirus pandemic.

USD/TRY key levels

At the moment the pair is losing 0.88% at 7.5362 and a drop below 7.4001 (200-day SMA) would aim for 7.2197 (monthly low Mar.1) and then 6.8923 (2021 low Feb.16). On the flip side, the next hurdle is located at 7.7772 (2021 high Mar.9) followed by 8.0250 (monthly high Dec.7 2020) and finally 8.0423 (high Nov.24 2020).