Turkey Again Refuses To Release American Pastor As Tensions Rise

Posted August 18, 2018

Brunson, an Evangelical pastor residing in the coastal province of Izmir, is standing trial in Turkey over terrorism charges.

The lira has lost almost 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year as investors fret about President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy.

"Volatility seems to have fizzled out in the last 24 hours and the stability in the remninbi has helped emerging market currencies", he said.

"The heightened tensions between the U.S. 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. "They can't take our people".

The Turkish lira rose half a percent to 5.7933 per dollar as sentiment improved. He criticized Turkey for "holding our wonderful Christian Pastor".

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It was not immediately clear what additional measures, if any, Trump could be considering.

As Ankara sought to reassure markets after the lira went into a tailspin over the deepening spat, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned more sanctions would be on the way until Andrew Brunson was released.

The United States has repeatedly demanded the release of Brunson from Turkish authorities, while Ankara has said that the U.S.' demands are not in line with principles of an independent judiciary and that it is the courts who will make the ultimate decision.

In currency markets, the dollar index .DXY fell 0.1 percent, while the euro EUR= was up 0.27 percent to $1.1374 after closing Wednesday at its lowest point since July 2017. That's making debt that Turkish companies owe in dollar terms even more expensive to pay back, which only further weakens the country's financial system.

The Turkish finance minister and his French counterpart on Friday agreed over the phone to conduct a joint action against U.S. "They have not acted as a friend".

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"They made up this phoney charge that he's a spy", Trump said.

"For now, the possibility of a Sino-US trade deal has brought some calm to the market - but trade and currency wars remain", he added.

"The news [of the China-US trade talks] triggered short-covering but I think fundamentally it is of limited significance", said Yasuo Sakuma, chief investment officer at Libra Investments.

Turkey has repeatedly criticized the USA for not condemning the coup attempt two years ago.

A Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen will meet US representatives, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that talks will take place in Washington on August 21 and 22.

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ENERGY, BANKS The Turkish banking watchdog has taken steps to stabilise the currency, limiting futures transactions for offshore investors and lowering limits on swap transactions.