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Asian markets mixed after Wall St falls on Turkey jitters

14 August 2018
Asian markets mixed after Wall St falls on Turkey jitters

Brunson, who has been held since 2016, faces up to 35 years in prison on charges of allegedly aiding Kurdish separatists and a group that Erdogan blames for a failed 2016 coup attempt against him.

The dispute has severely hit the Turkish currency which has been in the free fall since Friday.

The European Central Bank is understood to be anxious about the exposure of eurozone banks to Turkey, with Spain's BBVA, Italy's Unicredit and France's BNP Paribas thought to be in the firing line.

One lira traded as low as $7.24 by Monday afternoon, half of its value from a year ago.

Turkey has drafted an action plan and its institutions will start taking necessary steps Monday to ease financial markets' concerns, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said Sunday, after the lira plunged last week.

Mr Erdoğan blames the catastrophic collapse of the Turkish lira on the United States and has accused it of committing an act of "economic terrorism".

Mr Erdoğan used the speech to announce a trade boycott of electronic products from the US.

Showing no signs of backing down in a standoff with the U.S., Erdogan suggested that Turkey would stop procuring U.S. -made iPhones and buy Korean Samsung or Turkish-made Vestel instead.

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 lack of interest-rate action has coincided with a marked worsening of Turkey's relations with the US. The U.S. dollar climbed and the yen jumped.

A woman walks past by a board showing exchange rates in a currency exchange office in Istanbul.

In its first statement since what was dubbed "Black Friday" in Turkey, the central bank said it was ready to take "all necessary measures" to ensure financial stability, promising to provide banks with "all the liquidity" they need. Turkey's most significant trading partner is Germany.

The fear of contagion of the Turkish economy to Europe has thus far focused on the banking system.

The defiant move comes after White House-backed sanctions and tariffs against Ankara in a dispute about the detention of United States evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on fiercely contested espionage charges.

Turkey and the US have been at odds over a wide range of topics - from diverging interests in Syria, to Turkey's ambition to buy Russian defense systems, and the case of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.

Brunson's lawyer Cem Halavurt confirmed to AFP that he appealed for the release of his client once again on Tuesday, saying that: "The court should deliver its ruling in the next three days".

"I think the investor call Albayrak has scheduled has helped lira firm", said TEB Investment strategist Isik Okte.

A day earlier, the Foreign Office had also announced the country's support for Turkey and had insisted on dialogue with the U.S. in order to maintain peace and stability.

"Ashmore is widely seen as the London-listed bellwether for emerging markets and its shares are unsurprisingly being sold off in the wake of the crisis in Turkey", said Russ Mould at AJ Bell.

"This is no longer a dispute between the bureaucracies of the two countries".