March 7, 2018 / 11:08 AM / a year ago

Turkey's central bank holds main interest rates

ISTANBUL, March 7 (Reuters) - Turkey’s central bank left key interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, keeping monetary policy tight in the face of double-digit inflation and calls for cheaper credit from President Tayyip Erdogan.

The bank kept its late liquidity window, the highest of the multiple instruments it uses to set policy, at 12.75 percent and left the benchmark repo rate at 8 percent.

All 15 economists polled by Reuters had predicted no changes in any of the four main rates. The bank left its overnight lending rate at 9.25 percent and its overnight borrowing rate at 7.25 percent.

While the central bank tries to keep a lid on inflation that remains well above its target range, Erdogan - a self-described “enemy” of interest rates - has repeatedly called for lower borrowing costs to boost the economy.

Falling inflation has eased pressure on the bank to tighten policy further, but past perceptions of resistance to lifting the benchmark repo rate has triggered concern among investors over the extent of its independence from political influence. (Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by David Dolan)

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