ECONOMY

Turkish stocks climb over 1.5 pct to highest close

TURKISH STOCKS CLIMB OVER 1.5 PCT TO HIGHEST CLOSE

Turkey's benchmark index closed the day up 1.61 percent to stand at 107,417.52 points at Wednesday's close, marking its highest close ever.

Borsa Istanbul's BIST 100 index rose 1,699.20 points with a total trading volume of 5.8 billion Turkish liras (approximately $1.65 billion).

In the recent weeks the BIST 100 has been blazing an upward trend, breaking new records almost every session. Since the beginning of this year the index has risen 38 percent, compared to its close at 77,754.46 points on Jan. 2, the year's first trading day.

Last Friday, the BIST 100 closed the day at 105,175.73 points, a 5.08 percent rise for the week, up from 100,084.37 points at the close on July 7.

The banking and holding sector indices climbed 2.16 and 1.18 percent, respectively. Among all sectors, the banking index was the best performer, while the information technology sector was the worst, losing 0.78 percent.

Shares of Tesco Kipa (KIPA), which operates supermarkets in major Turkish cities, did best on Wednesday -- up 12.5 percent -- while stocks of telecommunication company Alcatel Lucent Teletas (ALCTL) suffered the biggest drop, falling 12.18 percent.

The five most-traded stocks were national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THYAO), private lender Garanti (GARAN), major defense systems producer Aselsan (ASELS), and two other lenders, Halkbank (HALKB) and Akbank (AKBNK).

The U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate fell to 3.5180 as of 5 p.m. (1400GMT) on Wednesday, compared with 3.5290 at Tuesday's close.

Last Friday one dollar traded for 3.5360 Turkish liras. The exchange rate saw its historic high in mid-January this year by climbing to around 3.94.

On Wednesday, Borsa Istanbul's Gold Exchange index was flat, inching down just 0.02 percent, while the price of gold per kilogram fell to 141,000 Turkish liras (some $40,069) as of 4.30 p.m. (1330GMT), down from 141,200 Turkish liras (around $39,990) at Tuesday's close.

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