Turkey's Erdogan vows USA boycott, but diplomats resume talks

16 Août, 2018, 12:08 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Emerging market currencies plunged as Turkey’s lira extended its precipitous slide

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Turkey's economic woes were not started by USA sanctions.

The Turkish unit had been under pressure for weeks over growing concerns about the health of the economy but the currency slumped on Friday and Monday, when US President Donald Trump announced Washington was ramping up aluminium and steel tariffs. He showed no signs of backing down in the stand-off and suggested that Turkey would stop procuring US-made iPhones and buy Korean Samsung or Turkish-made Vestel instead.

"You now have another huge selloff in EM, which has been exacerbated by Trump's willingness to jam on more and more sanctions when countries are having trouble in the market - like adding to the sanctions on Turkey", Haidar said. Ties between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have also nosedived over USA support for Syrian Kurdish forces, Ankara's plans to buy a Russian missile system and Turkey's demand that Washington extradite US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for the failed July 2016 coup bid.

The lira has lost more than 40% this year and crashed to an all-time low of 7.24 to the dollar early on Monday, hit by worries over Erdogan's calls for lower interest rates and worsening ties with the United States.

Action from Turkey's central bank pushed the lira higher for a second day on Wednesday, helping European stocks and emerging currencies consolidate recent losses though the dollar ensconced at 13-month highs kept up the pressure on world markets.

That has resulted in an interest rate differential that will continue to widen (and be exaggerated by the blow-out in the USA government's deficits and borrowing requirement as a result of the Trump tax cuts and spending increases).

However, foreign currency suppliers in the United Kingdom are struggling to meet demand for Turkey's collapsed currency.

The greenback had drawn strength after a tough week for emerging market currencies, initially led by the rout in the Turkish lira.

Turkey has accused the United States of waging an "economic war" as part of a plot to harm the country.

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Still, it looks like Malaysians may have to fork out more ringgit if they plan make a trip to the U.S. in the near term.

"We will implement a boycott against America's electronic goods", Erdogan told the conference.

"There is a price we're paying for the period we're in", Erdogan said, referring to his country's plummeting currency.

"What you want to see is tight monetary policy, a tight fiscal policy and a recognition that there might be some short-term economic pain - but without it there's just no credibility of promises to restabilise things", said Craig Botham, Emerging Markets Economist at Schroders.

Dollar-denominated bonds issued by selected Turkish banks continued to fall on Tuesday, although sovereign bonds steadied.

Meanwhile, the lawyer representing Andrew Brunson, the American pastor at the center of the dispute, renewed an appeal for his release from house arrest and for a travel ban imposed on him to be lifted.

Relations between Washington and Ankara have taken a turn for the worse amid bitter dispute over the detention in Turkey of an American evangelical pastor on terrorism charges.

A court in the western Turkish city of Izmir rejected a new appeal to free Brunson on Wednesday, the state television TRT reported.


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