Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Turkey Will Respond If Us Imposes More Sanctions: Minister

Spat between Ankara and Washington is over two CIA operatives Resurgent dollar sends commodities reeling again
Lindsey Cook | 18 August, 2018, 18:43

One of Turkey's high criminal courts has rejected US pastor Andrew Brunson's request to be released from house arrest and permitted to travel overseas, according to Turkey's state-run Anadolou news agency.

The dispute is one of several between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, including diverging interests in Syria and U.S. objections to Ankara's ambition to buy Russian defence systems, that have contributed to instability in Turkish financial markets.

The Qatari money will be channelled into banks and financial markets, a Turkish government source told Reuters.

Investors remains highly concerned about Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's policies to combat the country's double-digit inflation, the ability of the central bank to act independently for macroeconomic stability and the row with Washington over Brunson.

The fight between the United States and Turkey could flare up even more, as the White House looks to ramp up the pressure over a detained American pastor.

"The heightened tensions between the USA and Turkey caused the Turkish lira to take a leg lower and this reignited fears that the European banking system could be shaken by either defaults or non-performing loans from Turkey", said market analyst David Madden at CMC Markets UK.

Turkey's state-run news agency says a higher Turkish court has also rejected an appeal for the release from detention of an American pastor who is at the center of a Turkish-U.S. spat.

Ankara has retaliated by steeply hiking tariffs on some US products.

Trump added the pastor is a "very innocent man" and "we got somebody out for him - he needed help getting somebody out of some place".

The United States sanctioned Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, blaming both for being involved Brunson's arrest and detention.

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Pastor Andrew Brunson was swept up in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in 2016.

Turkey's Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan responded to the new threat on Friday.

Elsewhere, the dollar dipped against a basket of six major currencies, moving further away from its highest levels since June 2017 hit earlier in the week as investors bought the US currency in a flight to safety.

And the day earlier, two Greek soldiers held by Turkey since March for illegally crossing the border were also freed.

As the row deepens, Turkey has reached out to European allies and spoken of improving strained ties with the bloc.

Albayrak spoke Thursday with his German counterpart Olaf Scholz and they agreed to "take steps in order to reinforce economic cooperation", Albayrak's office said.

"Rates have gone up by 10 per cent".

The Canadian dollar strengthened against its US counterpart after data showing a surge in domestic inflation triggered increased bets on another Bank of Canada interest rate hike as soon as September. Turkish companies need to pay close to 5.80 lire for each US$1 of debt that they owe, for example, up from 3.79 lire at the start of the year. Efforts to rally support and bolster domestic markets included a call Thursday between Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and worldwide investors. He expected at worst to be given a two-week deadline to leave the country - standard practice with residency violations - and to return to Turkey when his papers were sorted out.

There was no resolution to the Brunson case in sight.

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