Turkish lira firms despite USA warning of more sanctions

Irving Hamilton
August 17, 2018

Doha has pledged to offer loans worth 15 billion USA dollars to help Ankara ride out its lira crisis.

According to the Hurriyet Daily, a significant number of importers have begun to withdraw their short and long-term orders after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's appeal to boycott USA electronic products on Tuesday.

Global investors have been anxious by Turkey's high levels of foreign debt and Erdogan's refusal to allow the central bank to raise interest rates to support the currency, as experts say it should.

The lira had nosedived in recent weeks, hitting a record low of 7.24 earlier this week, amid a diplomatic and trade dispute with the United States that has exacerbated investor concerns over Turkey's economy.

Erdogan doubled the tariffs on passenger cars to 120 per cent, on alcoholic drinks to 140 per cent and on leaf tobacco to 60 per cent.

"The tariffs that are in place on steel will not be removed with the release of pastor Brunson".

Following the Qatar news, the lira firmed briefly to 5.8699 from 6.04 to the dollar, before easing back to 6.0500 by 1658 GMT.

"We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly", Mnuchin said during the meeting. "The tariffs are specific to national security", she said. On Wednesday it lowered the limit on the amount of foreign currency and TRY swap transactions to 25 percent of banks' shareholder equity.

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That outbreak killed 33 people starting in May in the western Equator Province . Fourteen of the deaths had been confirmed by lab tests, the ministry said.

"Rates have gone up by 10 percent".

A Trump tweet last week announcing a doubling of aluminum and steel tariffs for Turkey triggered the rout in the currency markets.

The Gulf state made the investment as Turkey grapples with a collapse in the lira and tensions with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States.

Trump has repeatedly asked for Brunson's release, while Ankara said the decision was up to the court. Two sources with knowledge told CNN that the move stemmed from Trump's frustration over Brunson's detention.

"Turkey has alternatives", he said.

Albayrak said Turkey's banks are "healthy and strong" and that implementing structural reforms and maintaining a tight monetary policy to fight inflation remain a priority.

In another high-profile case, a Turkish court ruled on August 15 to release from jail Taner Kilic, the local chair of Amnesty International, a researcher from the rights group said.

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