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Turkey’s stocks suffer worst fall in a decade

Young people shout slogans and dance during a protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 3, 2013.

Kostas Tsironis/AP

Turkish equities suffered their biggest one-day fall in a decade on Monday, with investors reacting to political uncertainty as anti-government demonstrations gathered steam over the weekend.

The 10.5 per cent one-day fall on the Istanbul 100 index to 76,984 points was the biggest decline since 2003. It brought to a close an 18-month rally, which has seen the index rise by 82 per cent since the start of last year.

Analysts said the market had got ahead of itself amid broader optimism about emerging markets as central bank intervention last year buoyed risk appetite. The index hit a fresh all-time high two weeks ago.

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But the speed of the move on Monday still took many by surprise. The retreat was widespread, with the traditionally defensive utility sector falling 10 per cent while the cyclical financial and consumer sectors fell by 11 per cent.

Teknosa, the consumer electronics and household appliances company, was the worst performing stock on the index, falling 19 per cent to 10.85 lira ($5.76 U.S.), while Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi, the car part manufacturer, fell 18 per cent to 11.55 lira.

But of the 100 companies in the index, 71 fell more than 10 per cent amid a broad selloff. Only one company in the index, Yazicilar, a family-owned holding company, was up on the day, rising 0.4 per cent to 27.30 lira.

The tough selling in Europe was isolated to the Turkish markets, however, with the benchmark pan-European Eurofirst 300 index down 0.7 per cent to 1,207.65 points.

Over the past 10 years the Turkish stock market has risen more than seven times.

The last substantial fall in the index came from September, 2010, to the end of 2011, where the market fell 22 per cent on the back of concerns about the euro zone debt crisis.

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