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ISTANBUL: Turkey’s central bank cut its policy rate by 150 basis points to 9% as expected on Thursday and said it decided to halt its easing cycle, in line with President Tayyip Erdogan’s call for a single-digit rate by year-end despite inflation above 85%.

The lira weakened to a record low of 18.66 against the dollar after the move and stood at 18.63 at 1107 GMT.

Thursday’s cut brings the cumulative easing in four months to 500 basis points. The central bank has said the stimulus is necessary given signs of economic slowdown, even as central banks around the world race in the other direction.

Saudi Arabia says it is close to making $5bn deposit with Turkey

Inflation has surged since autumn 2021, stoked by an unorthodox easing cycle, sought by Erdogan, that sparked a currency crisis late last year.

The bank cut its policy rate more than expected to 10.5% last month. Erdogan said last month the bank would continue rate cuts every month “as long as I am in power.”

Erdogan, a self-described “enemy” of interest rates, aims to boost investments, production, exports and employment while lowering rates under his economic programme.

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