Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Trump's latest boost to the dollar: U.S.-Turkey spat

Turkey's situation does not have economic basis banker Turkey braces for hard times amid currency crisis, US spat
Russell Knight | 16 August, 2018, 13:10

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's move to double the tariffs on a range of American imports is "regrettable and a step in the wrong direction", a National Security Council spokesperson told The Epoch Times.

Markets have been concerned by Erdogan's influence over the economy and his resistance to interest rate increases to tackle double-digit inflation.

The rebound in the Turkish currency to stronger than 6.0 against the USA dollar was driven by a banking watchdog's step to limit swap transactions and by hopes of improved relations with the European Union. USA sanctions against two Turkish ministers have sent the lira spiralling against the dollar, threatening a debt payment crisis for Turkish banks which have taken out billions...

A court meanwhile rejected an appeal for the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson - whose detention for nearly two years sparked the crisis - leaving no immediate solution to the Turkey-US row in sight.

State television TRT reported the 2nd Penal Court in İzmir rejected the appeal on August 15 and sent the defendant's petition to an upper court.

President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish metals exports to the United States last week prompting Turkey, which says it will not bow to threats, to raise tariffs on USA cars, alcohol and tobacco by the same amount on Wednesday. The United States was the fourth-largest source of imports to Turkey past year, accounting for $12 billion of imports, according to International Monetary Fund statistics.

Relieving tensions in a case that annoyed Brussels, a Turkish court Tuesday released two Greek soldiers detained since March on espionage charges for illegally crossing the border.

"You work with us in Afghanistan, Somalia and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and then you go stab your partner in the back", he said earlier this week.

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As the Turkish crisis appears to worsen, investors are becoming hungrier for "safe haven" currencies like the US Dollar (USD) too. The Q2 growth projections met forecasts, but June's monthly growth figure fell short of expectations with a result of 0.1%.

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Earlier on the same day, the White House said that the USA side would consider lifting sanctions on two Turkish ministers if the country released an American pastor.

The United States was the fourth largest source of imports to Turkey previous year, accounting for $12 billion, according to International Monetary Fund statistics. "The central bank has not done this through a change in the benchmark rates, but they are squeezing liquidity, so the result is the same", he said.

The weakness of the Turkish currency has rippled through global markets. Turkey retaliated on Wednesday with tariffs on certain U.S. goods.

The duties were raised in response to the USA administration's "deliberate attacks on our economy", Vice President Fuat Oktay said.

Turkey said Wednesday it was imposing extra tariffs on imports of products, including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his vice president Mike Pence have repeatedly called for the pastor's release and have sanctioned two Turkish ministers after a Turkish court moved him to house arrest after 21 months in prison.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, warned the Turkish tariff hikes risked provoking a new reaction from Trump and ultimately add to downward pressure on tbe lira.

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