March 2, 2020 / 6:52 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 3-Turkish lira rebounds on global stimulus hopes after hitting 17-month low

* Global rate cut expectations boost sentiment

* Coronavirus, Syria conflict worries persist

* Shares rise, bond yields dip (Updates prices)

By Nevzat Devranoglu

ISTANBUL, March 2 (Reuters) - The Turkish lira rebounded from a fresh 17-month low on Monday, as expectations of global monetary stimulus to soften the blow from the spread of coronavirus outweighed investor worries about the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

The lira stood at 6.1965 against the dollar at 1841 GMT, firming from 6.2640 in volatile trading. The currency closed at a 17-month low of 6.24 on Friday.

Hope was growing among investors for a coordinated global monetary policy response to help weather the damaging economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic, with investors anticipating Federal Reserve rate cuts.

“This is positive for emerging markets. As of this morning, the most important factor limiting the global flight from risk is global rate cut expectations,” said a trader on a bank’s treasury desk.

The Turkish Capital Markets Board said on Monday that it had extended until further notice a ban on short selling on the Istanbul stock exchange imposed on Friday.

The main BIST 100 share index closed 1.24% higher, having fallen 4% on Friday. The banking index was up 1.76%.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year bond fell to 12.72% on Monday from 13.00% on Friday.

Turkey shot down two Syrian warplanes over Idlib on Sunday and struck a military airport well beyond its frontlines in a sharp escalation of its military operations following the death of dozens of Turkish soldiers last week.

Markets were also likely to keep an eye on the situation on Turkey’s Greek border, where Greek police fired tear gas to repel hundreds of migrants trying to cross the frontier after Ankara relaxed curbs on their movement.

Data on Monday pointed to positive developments in Turkish economic activity, with the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturers rising to 52.4 in February, its strongest level in two years, from 51.3 in January. (Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Maju Samuel and Mark Potter)

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