January 18, 2018 / 11:08 AM / a year ago

Turkey's central bank leaves key interest rates on hold

ISTANBUL, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Turkey's central bank left its main interest rates unchanged on Thursday, holding steady in line with market expectations after inflation edged off a 14-year high last month.

In its first meeting of the year the central bank kept its late liquidity window, the highest of the multiple instruments it uses to set policy, at 12.75 percent.

It left its benchmark repo rate on hold at 8 percent.

All 15 economists polled by Reuters had predicted the bank would leave the repo rate steady, as well as the overnight lending rate, at 9.25 percent, and the overnight borrowing rate, at 7.25 percent. Those two rates were also unchanged.

Last month, the bank raised its late liquidity window rate by a less-than-expected 50 basis points, easing some investor worry over its independence, in an attempt to battle volatile lira and inflation which peaked at 12.98 percent in November.

President Tayyip Erdogan, who wants cheap credit to boost growth, has long been opposed to high interest rates and the central bank has resorted to unorthodox liquidity moves, heightening the perception it wants to avoid a sharp rate hike. (Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Daren Butler)

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