Turkey's central bank announced a series of measures on Monday to free up cash for banks as the country grapples with a currency crisis sparked by concerns over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies and a trade and diplomatic dispute with the United States.
The Chinese yuan is heading for its biggest daily drop against the U.S. dollar in three weeks, after the People's Bank of China (PBOC) lowered the daily currency midpoint as the Turkish lira crisis roiled global stock and currency markets on worries that contagion risks would spill over.
Erdogan also hit back at USA authorities for convicting Mehmet Hakan Atilla, 47, deputy director general of Turkish lender Halkbank on charges of helping Iran evade United States sanctions on billions of dollars of oil proceeds. Shares in Europe's major banks also lost ground.
Turkey's finance minister said Sunday that the government has prepared "an action plan" aimed at easing market concerns that have led to a slump in the value of the nation's currency.
The central bank was ready to provide lira liquidity to banks if needed at an overnight rate of 19.25 pct - 150 basis points higher than the weekly repo rate - bankers told Reuters after the bank did not hold its regular repo auction on Monday. In Turkey, unlike nations such as the United States and those in the European Union, the central bank is controlled by the government, allowing control over interest rates and inflation.
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The moves are meant to grease the financial system, ease any worries about trouble at banks and keep them providing loans to people and businesses.
"The central bank will closely monitor the market depth and price formations, and take all necessary measures to maintain financial stability, if deemed necessary", the bank said in a statement.
Isik said the lira's current levels would add between 4 and 5 percentage points to headline inflation in coming months, pushing it up to around 21 percent in September from almost 16 percent last month. Meanwhile, the country's banking watchdog said that it had limited swap transactions.
Last week, Goldman Sachs said in a research note that a depreciation of the lira to 7.1 to the dollar would erode Turkish banks' excess capital. In early Asian trading Monday, the lira fell to a record low of 7.06 against the dollar. Stocks dropped 4 per cent, with the BIST index of blue-chip stocks down around 50 per cent in dollar terms this year.
The Trump administration gave Turkey until last Wednesday to release American pastor Andrew Brunson from custody, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reported revealed.
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Market analysts broadly welcomed his comments but said investors wanted to see action.
Erdogan is ignoring calls to increase interest rates, but economists are warning that if confidence isn't restored quickly, Turkey could lurch into a recession and debt crisis requiring a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
In the interview with Hurriyet newspaper, Albayrak described the lira's weakness as "an attack" - echoing Erdogan, who is his father-in-law.
Turkey's central bank, perhaps under the influence of a president who has declared himself an "enemy" of higher interest rates, is yet to raise interest rates in response to the crisis.
"The sinking Lira demonstrates the dangers that a rapidly depreciating currency could push the entire country into crisis mode, given companies in the real economy are sensitive to foreign exchange changes", said Ken Cheung Kin-tai, senior Asia FX strategist at Mizuho Bank.
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