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ISTANBUL: The Turkish lira slid to near 15.6 against the dollar on Monday, slipping for the eighth consecutive session towards the record weakest levels which it hit in December after a series of unorthodox interest rate cuts.

The currency weakened as far as 15.58 before edging back to 15.5750 by 0921 GMT.

It has lost 15% of its value against the US currency this year after a slide of 44% last year.

The war in Ukraine began to exert pressure on the lira in March as Western sanctions on Russia sent energy prices soaring, pushing up Turkey’s already hefty import bill.

Illustrating the pressures, Turkey’s current account deficit in March widened to $5.554 billion, central bank data showed on Monday, exceeding a Reuters poll forecast of $5.371 billion.

“The widening in the Turkish current account deficit reflects very strong pressure from imported energy commodities,” said Piotr Matys, senior FX analyst at In Touch Capital Markets in London.

Turkish lira extends slide; CDS back at 2008 levels

“The government notion and the central bank notion that Turkey will be able to bring inflation lower in coming quarters if current account deficit narrows is being put into a major test as current account deficit moves in the wrong direction.”

The currency crisis last year was triggered by an aggressive easing cycle that President Tayyip Erdogan sought despite rising inflation.

That, along with war fallout, pushed inflation to 70% in April as well as widening the current account deficit.

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