Photo: Reuters/Murad Sezer
Turkish lira. Photo: Asia Times files, Reuters / Murad Sezer

Turkey led emerging markets higher with a gain of 1.85% as the Turkish lira stabilized following yesterday’s sharp pullback.  Turkish banks rose 2.7% intraday after Societe Generale recommended the sector, while Bank of America published a buy recommendation for Turkcell on the strength of the mobile operator’s 13%-15% revenue growth guidance.

Markets are still trying to divine what the central bank is up to: It had raised rates to stabilize the lira after the 2016 free-fall, but this week bought bonds to inject liquidity aggressively into the local market. The Central Bank of Turkey has always been a bastion of prudence, but President Erdogan is facing a constitutional referendum in April in the midst of economic weakness and is pressuring the central bank to bring rates down.