The Latest: Turkish central bank raises rates sharply

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on Turkey’s financial turmoil (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

Turkey’s central bank has raised its key interest rate sharply, from 17.75 percent to 24 percent, to contain inflation and support the currency after steep declines this year.

The bank’s monetary policy committee on Thursday raised the one-week repo rate despite President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments earlier opposing any rate hikes.

The Turkish lira began to recover shortly after the rate hike, strengthening by 3.4 percent to 6.18 against the dollar. Earlier in the day, it was down about 3 percent.

In its statement, the central bank noted that the local economy is weakening and inflation is rising. The rate hike could pinch growth more, but independent experts say it’s needed to contain inflation of around 18 percent and support the currency.

___

11:00 a.m.

The Turkish central bank is discussing possible changes to its monetary policy amid concerns over the weakening Turkish currency.

The bank said earlier this month that it would adjust its monetary policy, raising hopes that it will increase interest rates on Thursday.

Independent experts say Turkey should increase rates to help stem the selling pressure on the currency. The bank has, however, come under pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to keep interest rates low.

The Turkish currency has plunged some 40 percent against the dollar this year while annual inflation has jumped to nearly 18 percent and economic growth has slowed to an annual rate of 5.2 percent.

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