Lira extends slide as Trump threatens to ‘obliterate’ Turkey’s economy
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Turkey’s lira fell to its lowest level against the dollar in more than a month after Donald Trump threatened to “obliterate” Turkey’s economy, heaping further pressure on the currency that had already weakened as Ankara readied a military operation in Syria.
The lira fell as much as 2.1 per cent on Monday to TL5.8178 against the US dollar — its lowest level since September 3 and was eyeing its biggest one-day drop since March.
The lira had already sagged after Turkey said it was preparing a contentious military operation in north-east Syria against the main US allies in the battle with Isis, following a green light from President Trump. The White House said the US military would not “support or be involved in the operation” that Turkey has repeatedly threatened to launch against US-backed Kurdish militias.
Following backlash from Washington and Europe Mr Trump later warned Turkey over the military operation. He said in a tweet:
“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).”
He added: “They must, with Europe and others, watch over . . . the captured ISIS fighters and families. The US has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!”
Turkey endured a currency crisis last year stemming from a diplomatic row between Washington and Ankara and as the country struggled with soaring inflation and concerns about the health of the Turkish economy.
The lira has weakened 9.2 per cent so far in 2019.
The dollar index, a gauge of the buck against a weighted basket of peers, was up 0.1 per cent to 98.88.
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