recorderjournal.com

Business

Why Trump's Turkey Tariffs Are Worrying Investors

Share
Economic turmoil hits Turkey, US bank stocks react

In a tweet, Trump announced the doubling of the tariffs in new punitive actions against Turkey, saying: "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!".

Trump said Friday on Twitter that he authorized a new 20 percent tariff on aluminum and 50 percent tariff on steel from Turkey. At the beginning of August, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Turkey's ministers of Justice and Interior because of Brunson's detainment. Erdogan's speech caused the value of the lira to drop even further.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan said Friday that his country was the target of a global financial war and urged citizens to exchange their dollars, euros and gold for lira to bolster the economy.

The Turkish lira suffered its worst one-day loss in a decade Friday after President Donald Trump announced that the United States would hike tariffs, prompting investor confidence to slump.

Investors dumped euro zone bank shares on Friday on concerns about their exposure to Turkey as the lira fell to yet another record low with a defiant government showing few signs it is ready to take decisive steps to stabilise the currency.

Turkey's economy is regarded as fragile because of its high debt, which the worldwide Monetary Fund estimates is 50 percent of its gross domestic product.

If not, rumours about possibly imposing capital controls on worldwide transfers and even a potential IMF assistance program will continue to grow and likely lead to further pain for the Turkish Lira. The sanctions are sending a loud and clear message to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, which President Trump routinely speaks out against.

Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and other media reports quote Erdogan as making the comment to a group of worshippers following traditional Muslim Friday prayers during a visit to the northern city of Bayburt.

A plunge in the Turkish lira rocked global equities and emerging markets on Friday and fear of more turmoil sent investors scurrying for safety in assets like the yen and USA government bonds.

The currency had spent much of 2014 hovering at just over two to the dollar but broke through the three mark for the first time after the 2016 failed coup bid and then slid to four earlier this year. In the past, Trump has threatened to impose trade barriers on countries that deliberately push down the value of their currencies, so as to make their goods cheaper for American consumers (and thus, more competitive than the wares of USA manufacturers).

Mr Erdogan has been putting pressure on the central bank to not raise interest rates in order to keep fuelling economic growth.

Erdogan on Thursday portrayed the currency drop as a "campaign" to harm Turkey and called on the people not to worry.

In 2017, 19 billion dollars worth of goods were traded between the US and Turkey.

The new system also increased Erdogan's control over the central bank, which on July 24 baffled markets by leaving rates unchanged despite inflation that in July came in at 15.85 percent. The president, who says a shadowy "interest rate lobby" and Western credit ratings agencies are attempting to bring down Turkey's economy, appealed to Turks' patriotism.

What's happening to Turkey's currency right now?

Without naming any country, Erdogan said that those - who stand against Turkey for the sake of small calculations - would pay the price.

"With EMEA a source of geopolitical risk, we think it will be hard for the ZAR to also stabilise - in effect the Rand's source of market risk has shifted from a weaker CNY to a weaker TRY and RUB", says foreign exchange strategist Viraj Patel with ING Bank N.V.

Share