U.S. media criticizes Trump's tariffs decision on Turkey

Turkey's currency, the Lira, plunged on Friday sparking concerns about the country's financial stability as investors anxious about Turkey's president's economic policies and a dispute with the U.S.

I have just authorised a doubling of tariffs on steel and aluminium with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong dollar!

That turned into a rout on Friday, with the currency diving as much as 18 per cent at one point, the biggest one-day drop since a 2001 financial crisis in Turkey.

While Turkey and the United States disagree over a host of issues, the most pressing disagreement has been over Brunson and the detention of other USA citizens in Turkey.

"As we have seen during the Greek debt crisis, financial markets are sufficiently interwoven that concerns over debt serviceability in one region can spread quite quickly within European banks".

The lira tumbled 14 per cent in one day, to 6.51 per dollar, a massive move for a currency that will make the Turkish poorer and further erode global investors' confidence in the country.

It had already fallen more than 40% in the past year.

The Turkish lira is in a state of crisis, as a result of investor confidence in Turkish assets remaining at alarmingly low levels.

The tumult also affected Wall Street, which finished the week on a sour note, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all finishing down on Friday. The lira fell further as Erdogan spoke.

Last week, Erdogan called on Turks to convert their foreign currency and gold into Turkish lira to help the currency.

"This is a domestic and national struggle", Erdoğan said, according to The Associated Press.

The tensions with Washington have, for investors, underscored Turkey's authoritarian trajectory under Erdogan.

Although Erdogan struck a defiant tone, his foreign ministry called for diplomacy and dialogue to solve problems with Washington and Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said "we implore President Trump to return to the negotiating table".

On August 1 Washington announced sanctions against Turkey's justice and interior ministers, prohibiting USA entities and citizens from doing business with them, after threatening to impose "large sanctions" if Ankara failed to free Brunson. The lira slid to a fresh record low against the US dollar.

New York Magazine criticized Trump's move in an article titled "Why Trump's Turkey Tariffs Are Worrying Investors", which said Trump announced he would double his country's metal tariffs on Turkey "despite the fact that he has no good reason for doing so".

But Erdogan said Turks should not be alarmed by exchange rate movements.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Bayburt, Turkey August 10, 2018.

It added that Trump's remarks were "not possible to reconcile with state seriousness".

"US and Turkey are breaking up", Mr Cook told The National, recommending that Washington instead focuses on "how the tanking of the Lira affects other emerging market currencies, and moving to contain the contagion".

And it remains unclear if the bank would be willing to sharply lift rates, with analysts saying the nominally independent institution is under the influence of Erdogan, who wants low rates to keep growth humming.

Erdogan and his newly appointed finance minister, Berat Albayrak, are due to speak at 2 p.m. local time Friday.

The current market expectation is that a rate increase of at least 5pc, from the current 17.75pc interest rate, will be required to stem the tide of Lira losses and traders are nervously awaiting any announcement of an emergency central bank meeting which may happen next week. His comments suggest that the Turkish central bank does not act with full independence, CNBC reported on Friday.

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