Turkish lira plunges as Trump hits Ankara with increased tariffs

It hit arecord low after Trump announced he had authorised higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, imposing duties of 20 percent on aluminum and 50 percent on steel.

United States stocks fell Friday amid the geopolitical concerns that pushed the Turkish lira to the record low against the dollar.

The United States is the biggest destination for Turkish steel exports with 11% of the Turkish export volume.

This is double the level the president imposed on a range of countries earlier this year, including European Union member states. But invoking national security is the only way to square Trump's policy with USA law and WTO rules.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpKobach agrees to recuse himself from vote counting in Kansas GOP primary NFL players kneel during national anthem before first preseason game Schiff blasts GOP for Russian Federation probe conduct: "That's how you obstruct an investigation, not how you conduct one" MORE said Friday that the USA will also double tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Turkey as relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies worsen. And so he announced he is going to double the steel and aluminum tariffs on them to make up for the fact "their currency" has slid so "rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!"

Investors piled into "safe" government debt, with German yields hitting three-week lows and the yield on the benchmark US 10-year Treasury note falling to 2.88822 percent. It has fallen by over 35% this year.

But Erdogan, who had remained unusually silent until now as the lira crisis mounted, urged Turks to take matters into their own hands.

The currency has fallen more than 35 percent this year after losing almost a quarter of its value in 2017.

Investors are concerned with Erdogan's firm grip on Turkish monetary policy.

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told a rally Friday that his country would not yield to what he called bullying and blackmail.

He continued: "A painful admittance that his powers are outmatched by the forces of markets and that he may have misjudged the economic situation may be a lot to ask of the autocratic leader Erdogan, but the alternative is that the lira will meet the ground at terminal velocity; an impact that will damage the Turkish economy for years to come".

But some investors fear the Turkish economy is growing too quickly and could face problems.

But while Mr Erdogan - who vowed Turkey would win the "economic war" - favours lowering borrowing costs to fuel credit growth and economic expansion, others would rather see interest rates rise.

People change money at a currency exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey, Aug. 10, 2018.

Turkey has had this sort of experience - a disastrous currency collapse shrinking its economy and impoverishing its citizens - several times before, most recently in February 2001.

In June, the U.S. Senate passed a bill prohibiting Turkey from buying F-35 fighter jets because of Brunson's imprisonment and Turkey's purchase of Russia's S-400 air defense system. Turkey wants Brunson to stand trial.

Turkey remains at loggerheads with the United States in one of the worst spats between two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in years over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson and a host of other issues.

The president is "not happy with Turkey's decision not to release Pastor [Brunson]", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

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