Friday, 16 November, 2018

American pastor is latest flashpoint in US Turkish fight

Emerging market currencies plunged as Turkey’s lira extended its precipitous slide Emerging market currencies plunged as Turkey’s lira extended its precipitous slide
Scott Davis | 17 August, 2018, 15:36

-China trade issues following news that a Chinese delegation led by Wang Shouwen, the vice commerce minister, will visit the United States later this month for trade discussions between the world's two biggest economies, market sources said.

Turkey has sought to persuade the United States to spare Turkey's state-owned Halkbank from a threatened fine for allegedly helping Iran evade USA sanctions.

"Tax rates on imports of some products have been increased on a reciprocal basis against the US administration's deliberate attacks on our economy", Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter.

Turkey's influential business groups have called on the government to implement tighter monetary policy to help overcome the country's currency crisis. Inflation has soared, hitting 16 per cent in July, and some estimates put it at more than 100 per cent now, owing in part to the currency crisis.

"We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly", Mnuchin said during a meeting of President Donald Trump's Cabinet.

"We suspect that there are diminishing marginal returns to additional technical measures so long as they are not accompanied by a fundamentally-oriented policy package".

US stocks and emerging market currencies rebounded on Thursday after China said it will hold trade talks with the United States later in August and Turkey's lira continued its recovery.

Qatar on Wednesday promised to make a $15 billion direct investment in Turkey, badly hit by a currency crisis amid a widening diplomatic standoff with the United States, officials said.

Lots of countries had been the target of similar U.S. trade measures, he said, and Turkey would navigate this period with other parties such as Germany, Russia and China.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier criticised Turkey's move to impose tariffs on some U.S. goods as "regrettable and a step in the wrong direction".




The lira has lost almost 40 per cent against the dollar this year, driven by worries over President Tayyip Erdogan's growing control over the economy and his repeated calls for lower interest rates despite high inflation.

"If [the United States] have the iPhone, there's Samsung on the other side", he said, referring to U.S. giant Apple's iconic phone and the top South Korean brand.

However, the central bank has defied calls from markets for rate hikes, raising concerns of interference from Mr Erdogan who is on record as describing himself as an "enemy" of higher interest rates.

A protester with four boys kneeling in front of a Turkish flag addresses President Trump directly in one video circulating online: "Who do you think you are?" he says, a massive hammer slung over his shoulder.

Erdogan has called for a boycott of USA electronic goods and Turkish media have given extensive coverage to anti-US protests, including videos on social media showing Turks apparently burning dollar bills and destroying iPhones.

On Tuesday, however, the lira recovered some ground, trading at 6.4300 to the dollar at 1827 GMT, up 6.8 percent on the day, after plunging to an all-time low of 7.24 on Monday.

On August 10, Trump intensified the spat with Turkey over the detention in Turkey of US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges by imposing higher tariffs on metal imports.

There was also optimism about better relations with the European Union after a Turkish court released two Greek soldiers pending trial. Erdogan held a similar conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday.

Washington wants the evangelical Christian freed but Turkish officials say the case is a matter for the courts.

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