* Bond yields steady
* Lira, shares slightly up
* Yapi Kredi Sigorta pares earlier gains
By Seltem Iyigun
ISTANBUL, Jan 10 (Reuters) - The Turkish lira firmed a touch and bonds steadied on Thursday after successful debt auctions this week that brought yields down sharply.
The local share index inched up, slightly underperforming the global emerging markets index, and shares in insurer Yapi Kredi Sigorta trimmed gains after Italy’s Generali said it was not interested in buying a stake.
By 0921 GMT, the lira firmed slightly to 1.7751 to the dollar, from 1.7774 late on Wednesday. Against its euro-dollar basket it was a touch stronger at 2.0474 compared with 2.0477.
“Strong bids in treasury auctions and the expectations that the central bank may turn its policy stance to neutral support the lira,” Fatih Keresteci, strategist at HSBC, said in a research note.
Turkey’s central bank has been easing monetary conditions since the middle of 2012 and cut its policy rate for the first time in more than a year on Dec. 18 to counter a slowdown in domestic demand.
Some investors expect the bank to start adopting a more cautious stance as some leading indicators point to a faster-than-expected recovery.
The yield on the two-year bond benchmark bond stood at 5.88 percent, a tick lower than Wednesday’s close at 5.89 percent.
The two-year yield has fallen around 40 basis points since last week as investors flocked to treasury debt auctions on Monday and Tuesday.
“We expect the positive sentiment to continue in the rest of the week. It seems like bond yields will remain at current levels,” Burak Maldar, a vice president at Halk Invest, wrote in a research note.
Istanbul’s main share index was up 0.12 percent at 81,247 points after earlier hitting a record high of 81,505.03 points, underperforming a rise of 0.34 percent in the global emerging markets index
Yapi Kredi Sigorta was up 2.31 percent at 17.75 lira, trimming earlier gains after Italian insurer Generali said it was not taking part in its sale process, denying a report in the Turkish press.
Shares in Global Yatirim Holding rose 5.6 percent to 1.32 lira after the company said it had mandated JP Morgan to assess a possible sale of its port unit Global Liman. (Writing by Seltem Iyigun; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)