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Turkish lira firmest in three months on Iran sanctions waiver expectations

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The Turkish lira firmed 1.7 percent against the dollar to its strongest level in around three months on Friday, helped by investor optimism that Turkey will receive a waiver on U.S. sanctions targeting Iranian oil and the lifting of U.S. sanctions on two top Turkish officials.

The lira <trytom=d3>, which has recovered from a slump to record lows in August, briefly strengthened beyond 5.4200 against the dollar by 1415 GMT from Thursday’s close of 5.51.</trytom=d3>

It is currently down 30 percent against the U.S. currency this year, having been hit by concerns about President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence over monetary policy and a diplomatic spat between Ankara and Washington.

In a sign of improved relations, the United States on Friday lifted sanctions imposed on Turkey’s justice and interior ministers, three weeks after Turkey freed an American pastor from detention.

Shortly after the announcement, Turkey lifted sanctions on U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions which Ankara had imposed in retaliation for the sanctions on its ministers.

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