Turkish lira slumps to new record low as Donald Trump doubles tariffs

11 Août, 2018, 03:11 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

President Trump said Friday the US will double tariffs on steel and aluminum for Turkey, noting the relationship between the two states "are not good at this time!".

The United States, the world's biggest steel importer, imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum in March for imports from a variety of countries, in a move that provoked counteraction from trade allies.

The stakes rose sharply Friday morning when President Trump vowed to double metal tariffs on Turkey.

But Israel released that woman last month, and pastor Andrew Brunson of North Carolina remains in a Turkish prison.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan struck a defiant note in a series of Twitter messages shortly before Trump's announcement.

A delegation of Turkish officials held discussions with their counterparts in Washington this week but there was no sign of a breakthrough.

Reuters Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, listens during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London, U.K., May 15, 2018.

Turkey's currency sank to record lows on Friday amid panic about the country's economic health and souring relations with the United States.

The currency is down 40 percent just this year, shaking global investors' confidence in the country.

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A "gigantic rate hike" of at least 500 basis points to calm markets and a clear commitment from the Central Bank of Turkey to support the currency could help halt the decline, Hordijk said, adding, "Another bandage to stop the lira from bleeding to death would be capital controls, but Erdogan opposes these measures".

The mere fact that the USA would impose sanctions on Turkey - a stalwart North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally for decades during the Cold War - has increased uncertainty about the future in Turkey.

Erdogan called on Turks to not be concerned about exchange rate movements, mockingly declaring "the dollar, the mollar will not cut our path".

The Canadian dollar weakened to a more-than two-week low against its US counterpart as geopolitical risk rattled global financial markets, offsetting stronger-than-expected domestic jobs data.

A plummeting Turkish lira sent ripples through global equities and emerging markets on Friday, as rising fears of a wider fallout sent investors scurrying for the safety of assets such as the yen and USA government bonds.

The lira fell further as Erdogan spoke.

The Turkish lira plunged on Friday, raising questions about the country's financial stability, as investors anxious about the president's unorthodox economic policies and a dispute with the United States that has led to sanctions.

'However, I say it once again from here. "While they have dollars, we have our people, law and Allah", the Turkish leader said addressing citizens in the Black Sea city of Rize. Erdogan has been putting pressure on the central bank to not raise interest rates in order to keep fueling economic growth.

"This is a domestic and national struggle", Erdoğan said, according to The Associated Press. At one point, it was down as much as 19 percent on the day, before rallying a bit to bring it to "only" a 13.7 percent loss. Hard currency debt issued by Turkish banks suffered similar falls.

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