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Erdogan vows action against ‘economic terrorists’ over lira plunge

13 Août 2018

Losses in the lira were pared in early European trading after Turkey's central bank announced a list of measures, which it says will support financial stability and proper functioning of markets.

The bank's announcement followed the finance minister's disclosure that Turkey has prepared an "action plan" scheduled to roll out Monday that is meant to ease market concerns that led to the slump in the value of Turkish currency.

Albayrak commented that the plan will impact banks and small to medium-sized businesses which have been hard hit by the lira's dramatic recent declines.

Turkey's economy has been under punitive sanctions from the United States over the ongoing detention of a us pastor, Andrew Brunson.

In revealing details of negotiations held between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, Erdogan said: "They are going to make us slaves to the dollar".

The lira hit a record low of 7.23 per dollar late Sunday after Erdogan remained defiant in his economic policies and the standoff against the United States, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

The interior ministry launched an investigation into 346 social media accounts on grounds of "provocative sharings", the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. The Capital Markets Board of Turkey issued a similar warning to those who spread "lies, false or misleading information, news or analysis".

On Monday, the currency dropped to a historic low of 7.2 lira against the dollar before recovering slightly to 6.8 against the greenback.

A bigger danger is that Turkey's crisis will spill over into other emerging market economies and there were signs on Monday that other countries seen as vulnerable were coming under speculative attack.

The dollar strengthened as traders dumped Turkish lira.

EMini futures for the S&P 500 were off 0.3 percent, while 10-year Treasury yields dipped further to 2.85 percent.

"Investors are feeling jumpy", said Gavin Keeton, an economist at Rhodes University in South Africa wrote in Business Day, "largely because of concerns about Turkey, which are dragging other emerging market currencies down too".

Analysts say that while Washington's sanctions against Ankara sparked the immediate crisis, Turkey's economy has been risking trouble for a while due to high inflation and the weak lira. However, other countries - such as Mexico and South Africa - also took advantage of low USA interest rates in the years after the financial crisis to borrow heavily in dollars and saw their currencies coming under pressure.

Raphael Marechal, head portfolio manager, emerging markets, Nikko Asset Management Europe, said rate hikes might make things worse, given the stresses in the economy.

The lira plunged to a fresh record low of 7.24 against the dollar during in Asia Pacific trade, where markets were opening for Monday morning.

The United States gave Turkey a deadline to release an American pastor being tried by a Turkish court or face sanctions, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday as he threatened once again to seek out new allies.

Despite the tumult, President Tayyip Erdogan remains in a combative mood, calling the rout a "political, underhand plot" against Turkey. Central bank moves to boost liquidity provided little relief. The lira fell by a fifth against the dollar last week alone, but "even before the current crisis dropping, the lira was the world's worst performing currency, by nearly 50% against the dollar in the past 12 months", The Guardian reports.

Erdogan vows action against ‘economic terrorists’ over lira plunge