Turkish lira slumps to new record low as Donald Trump doubles tariffs

Turkish lira slumps to new record low as Donald Trump doubles tariffs

Washington in response sanctioned two Turkish ministers, and Trump on Friday announced the United States was doubling tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey, saying relations with Ankara were "not good at this time".

The Lira has lost almost a third of its value this year, as relations with the United States have become increasingly strained.

The lira tumbled about 10 per cent on Friday to another record low as investors worry about Erdogan's unorthodox economic policies and U.S. sanctions.

The Turkish lira has been targeted by U.S. President Donald Trump himself, and Turkey has prepared an action plan to soothe its volatility against the dollar, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said late Sunday. The lira, he noted on Twitter, "slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!"

"Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" he said in an early morning post.

Ankara and Washington have been at odds over the detention of the American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges, a matter that Trump has discussed directly with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the phone, The New York Times reported. A delegation of Turkish officials held talks with their counterparts in Washington this week but there was no sign of a breakthrough.

Waves from the crisis spread overseas, with investors selling off shares in European banks with large exposure to the Turkish economy. And like with the lira, investors found new reasons on Friday to dump the currency. But some investors fear the Turkish economy is growing too quickly and could face problems.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday criticized the US, saying Turkey will say "bye bye" to those, who prefer terrorists to their strategic partner.

"Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks".

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

Turkey will "never accept the order, which declares war against the whole world", through the threats of sanctions, he said, referring to the U.S.

That is unlikely to mollify investors who are also anxious by the growing dispute with the United States. According to a source in Erdogan's office, the two said they were pleased with the positive direction in their economic and trade ties and with the ongoing cooperation in the energy and defense sectors.

"First of all, confidence needs to be regained".

The Euro opened this week's trading session gapping lower against its USA counterpart, responding to the Turkish Lira's sharp downturn last week. Hard currency debt issued by Turkish banks suffered similar falls.

Presenting the government's new economic model, he said the next steps of rebalancing would entail lowering the current account deficit and improving trust.

In a tweet, he said he was imposing duties of 20 per cent on Turkish aluminium and 50 per cent on steel.

Earlier, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of drastic measures if businesses withdraw foreign currency from banks.

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