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Turkey seeks to soothe markets over tensions with US

International Business
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
AFP


Istanbul: Turkey's finance minister Berat Albayrak will seek to soothe the markets about the lira's dramatic fall in the wake of escalating tensions with the United States via a conference call with foreign investors, his ministry announced Thursday.

Some 3,000 investors from the United States, Europe and Asia registered to join the conference call scheduled for 1300 GMT, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Albayrak, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law, was appointed last month, and faces a tough task in getting the economy in order.

The lira was being traded at 5.7 against the dollar and 6.5 against euro -- after it lost nearly a quarter of its value on Friday and Monday.

The slight rebound comes after the Turkish central bank took a raft of measures to keep financial stability and ensure Turkish banks have sufficient liquidity.

However, analysts say such measures are not enough and call for a sharp hike in interest rates -- strongly opposed by Erdogan's government which sees economic growth as its top priority.

The tensions between Ankara and Washington have been increased after Turkey refused to free US pastor Andrew Brunson detained in October 2016 on charges of terror and espionage and who is currently under house arrest.

US President Donald Trump tweeted last Friday that Washington was doubling aluminium and steel tariffs for Ankara, a move that sent the lira into freefall.

In response, Erdogan has called for a boycott of US electronic goods such as the iPhone and Ankara has sharply hiked tariffs on some US products, in a move called "regrettable" by the White House.

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