March 20, 2020 / 4:43 AM / 19 days ago

Turkey - Factors to Watch on March 20

ISTANBUL, March 20 (Reuters) - Here are news, reports and events that may affect Turkish financial markets on Friday.

The lira stood at 6.5050 against the dollar at 0421 GMT, firming from a close of 6.5460 on Thursday.

The main BIST 100 share index fell 0.45% on Thursday to 85,195.39 points.

GLOBAL MARKETS

Asian shares staged a rare rally on Friday as Wall Street eked out gains, bonds rallied and oil boasted its biggest bounce on record, though the panicked rush into U.S. dollars suggested the crisis was far from done. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 3.2%, after seven sessions of losses.

UNEMPLOYMENT

Turkish Statistical Institute will announce 2019 unemployment data. (0700 GMT)

DEBT STOCK

The Finance Ministry will release central government debt stock data for February. (1430 GMT)

CORONAVIRUS

The death toll in Turkey due to the coronavirus rose to four, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said late on Thursday, adding there was a total of 359 confirmed cases in the country.

Turkish soccer, basketball and volleyball leagues, which were among the last to continue playing matches, were suspended indefinitely on Thursday due to the widening coronavirus outbreak.

Shops closed across Turkey on Thursday to help halt the coronavirus spread, dimming the economy’s prospects and raising questions for hundreds of thousands of workers after Ankara pledged $15 billion in support and advised Turks to stay home.

FINANCE MINISTER

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Thursday he had “no concerns” about Turkey’s ability to meet its economic growth, budget and inflation targets for 2020 despite expectations of a potentially severe global recession due to the coronavirus.

A 9% fall in the Turkish lira this year will not seriously lift inflation, which Ankara expects to dip toward year end from above 12% last month, Albayrak also said.

SYRIA’S IDLIB

Turkey’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday that two of its soldiers were killed in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib in a rocket attack by “some radical groups”.

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Istanbul National-100 stock index, interbank lira trading, lira bond trading (Compiled by Ali Kucukgocmen)

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