UPDATE – Turkey's Borsa Istanbul down over 1.5 percent at close


By Gokhan Ergocun

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's benchmark stock index closed Tuesday down 1.77 percent at 101,540.39 points with a trading volume of around 7.1 billion Turkish liras ($1.6 billion).

Borsa Istanbul's BIST 100 index ended the day with a 1,830.03-point decrease from previous close of 103,370.42 points, while it opened the day at 102,264.89 points, down 1.07 percent.

The benchmark index hovered between 101,221.10 points and 103,026.71 points, while 7 stocks on the index were on the rise, 48 on the decline, and 45 flat compared to the previous close.

The total market value of listed shares on the BIST 100 was around 818 billion Turkish liras ($184.17 billion) at the close, while the banking and holding sector indices dropped 2.81 percent and 1.64 percent, respectively.

Among all sectors, the mining sector index was the best performer, rising 4.79 percent, and the chemical petrol plastic sector index saw the biggest drop, declining 3.30 percent.

The stocks of mining company Koza Madencilik climbed the most, up 8.60 percent, while the stocks of a private lender ICBC Turkey Bank were the worst, falling 8.53 percent.

The BIST 100's most-traded listed companies were private lender Garanti, state lender Halkbank, iron/steel producer Kardemir, national flag carrier Turkish Airlines, and mining company Koza Madencilik.

The USD/TRY exchange hit its historic high with 4.4590 as of 5 p.m. local time (1400GMT) Tuesday, up from 4.3200 at Monday's close.

The euro/lira exchange rate also increased to 5.2740 by market close, versus 5.1760 at the previous close, and one British pound was traded at 6.0100 Turkish liras, compared with 5.8840 at Monday's close.

The BIST Gold Exchange index fell by 1.63 percent at the close. In Borsa Istanbul's Precious Metals and Diamond Markets, one ounce of gold traded for $1,296.50 as of 4.30 p.m. local time (1330GMT) Tuesday, compared with $1,318 at previous close.

The price of Brent oil reached $78.79 per barrel as of 18.00 p.m. local time (1500GMT) Tuesday. During the day, it hit its 43-month high with $79.25. It was over $85.8 in October 2014 and around $70.1 in November 2014. It saw around $34.70 per barrel as its lowest level at the beginning of 2016.

Turkey's unemployment rate stood at 10.6 percent in February, falling 2 percentage points on a yearly basis, TurkStat said Tuesday. It added the number of unemployed persons aged 15 years and over — 3.35 million last February — decreased by 546,000, year-on-year.

The country's central government budget balance saw a deficit of 23.2 billion Turkish liras ($5.98 billion) in the January-April period, the Finance Ministry announced Tuesday. It also said Turkey's budget revenues rose by 17.3 percent to 232 billion Turkish liras ($59.8 billion), while the country's budget expenses increased by 18.3 percent to 255.2 billion Turkish liras ($65.8 billion), from January to April on a yearly basis.