Trump's latest boost to the dollar: US-Turkey spat

16 August, 2018, 12:06 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Turkey launches probe into suspected actions targeting economic security

US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter late last month that his country "will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson".

Erdogan admitted that his country had problems such as a widening current account deficit and inflation of nearly 16 percent.

There are concerns also about China's slowing economy - reinforced by this week's data on investment and industrial output - and the yuan's weakening to 15-month lows against the dollar.

But having firmed beyond 6 per dollar, most of its early gains fizzled out.

JP Morgan Chase chief economist Anthony Chan said while the U.S. economy was performing strongly, investors were anxious about the rest of the world, particularly Turkey.

IFF emphasized that the depreciation will shrink the current account deficit of Turkey.

"We will produce every product we are importing from overseas with foreign currency here and we will be the ones exporting these products", he said.

The dispute between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies - brought to a new intensity by Turkey's holding of an American pastor for two years - has raised questions over the future of their partnership and fanned fears of a looming economic crisis in Turkey.

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"Copper and other commodities at first reflected the downturn in China but now have been exacerbated by expectations of further economic weakness", said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco in NY.

The U.S. dollar has risen against major currencies for several months, with the dollar index.DXY up almost 8 percent over the last four months. Independent economists say Erdogan should let the central bank raise interest rates to support the currency, but he wants low rates to keep the economic growth going. The tariffs themselves are minor and impact around $1 billion (€875 million) in trade, but they weighed on market confidence in the vulnerable Turkish economy.

A US 100 dollar banknote is seen through a magnifying lens on top of 10 and 20 lira banknotes in this illustration picture taken in Istanbul January 28, 2014.

The imprisonment of United States pastor Andrew Brunson has weighed heavily on relations, leading to a series of escalations.

The call for a boycott appears to be Erdogan's answer to the US decision to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports. More than 30 percent of the lira's loss has come since June, when Erdogan took over the office with new sweeping powers.

"There could be a knock-on effect and there could be contagion to other countries in emerging markets and the Trump administration being so quick to increase sanctions on Turkey you have seen them do the same thing to Russian Federation". Instead of appointing technocrats, Erdogan appointed his son-in-law Berat Albayrak (pictured) to lead the newly empowered Finance Ministry. This has raised concerns over the central bank's independence given the president's repeated statements against raising interest rates.

"Investors tend to focus on negative aspects of listed companies' first-half reports, as there is much pessimism and caution in a falling market", said Linus Yip, a Hong Kong-based analyst at First Shanghai Securities.

Erdogan, however, did not announce any government action towards a boycott.

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