Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Erdoğan urges Turks to sell dollars and euros to support lira

Berat Albayrak Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak is to unveil the plan for Turkey's economy on Friday
Jeannette Daniel | 13 August, 2018, 04:39

In a statement the White House clarified that Trump had authorized the preparation of documents to raise steel and aluminum tariffs through his authority under Section 232 of USA trade law.

"As he stated, the president has authorized the preparation of documents to raise tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey", White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said.

The lira crashed days ago as tensions between the United States and Turkey began to rise.

Trump's announcement saw the Turkish lira drop even further, crashing to a 19 percent daily loss against the greenback.

The lira sell-off deepened concern over whether over-indebted Turkish companies will be able to pay back loans taken out in euros and dollars after years of overseas borrowing to fund a construction boom under Erdogan.

The lira has lost more than 40% this year.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won another term in office in June with expanded powers.

Erdogan said Turkey would turn towards new markets, new partners and alternative financial tools.

Erdogan had on Saturday described interest rates as a "tool of exploitation", in remarks that may not be warmly welcomed by the markets.

The nominally independent central bank has defied pressure over the last few weeks to hike interest rates in the face of high inflation and a collapsing currency.

More news: Map shows best places to watch weekend meteor shower

More evidence of how nervous investors are about Turkey's economy could be seen in the iShares MSCI Turkey exchange-traded fund, which plunged 18% and saw the most premarket trades ever, according to Bloomberg.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the United States of trying to "bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor". He tweeted, "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"

One of the hard issues affecting U.S.

Much of the tensions between the two countries centre on an American cleric, jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges.

Turkey has accused Andrew Craig Brunson of spying and "committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member".

Since then, its relationship with Turkey, the sixth largest steel importer to the U.S., the world's biggest steel importer overall, has deteriorated, prompting Ankara to send a delegation this week to Washington to meet with both the State and Treasury Departments.

Andrew Craig Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey, July 25, 2018.

Turkey, he wrote, could turn to "other friend and allies", if the USA continued its more hawkish policy vis a vis Ankara, without elaborating who those friends and allies would be. He added that the country will continue to enjoy good economic relations with several major nations. These include places "from Iran, to Russian Federation, to China and some European countries", he said.

From left, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands previous year.

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