Markets and investors await Erdogan's response to lira crisis

Andrew Brunson an American pastor is released to home detention last month in Izmir Turkey

U.S. President Donald Trump intensified his spat with Turkey on Friday by imposing higher tariffs on metal imports, putting unprecedented economic pressure on a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally and deepening turmoil in Turkish financial markets.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he had authorized the doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs with respect to Turkey, as tensions mount between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Putting a 50 percent tariff on a foreign country's steel exports isn't the most conventional way to secure an imprisoned American's relief.

The mere fact that the US would impose sanctions on Turkey - a stalwart North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally for decades during the Cold War - has increased uncertainty about the future in Turkey.

In addition to the steep drop in the Turkish Lira, which effectively reduces the impact of the tariffs, the USA has so far been unsuccessful in persuading Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to release US pastor Andrew Brunson.

With US sanctions and tariffs hitting Turkey this month for its refusal to release an American pastor, the relationship between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies is crumbling amid fears on the regional impact. That said, the global threat from Turkey's debt problems is relatively small.

He told supporters to "change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks". Speaking in the northeastern province of Gumushane, Erdogan said, "Apparently, those who believe they can force us to capitulate don't know [our] people at all". We are working hard. "Look at what we were 16 years ago and look at us now".

"We will not lose the economic war", state-run TRT Haber TV quoted Erdogan as saying, according to Agence France-Presse. The lira fell further after Mr Trump's tweet.

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Turkey's economy is regarded as fragile because of its high debt, which the global Monetary Fund estimates is 50 percent of its gross domestic product.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak - who is Erdogan's son-in-law - was scheduled later on Friday to outline a 'new economic model'. The lira slid to a fresh record low against the USA dollar.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost more than 270 points by 2:45 p.m. Friday, a 1 percent loss, while falling bank stocks dragged the S&P 500 index down roughly 0.9 percent. It was almost 6 per dollar early Friday morning in D.C.

They are also concerned over the central bank's ability to rein in persistent double-digit inflation with the president repeatedly calling for lower rates.

The lira fell 7% against the dollar to 5.9655 on Friday morning after hitting an all-time low earlier in the session.

The currency had earlier in the session lost almost 2 percent to R13.95, it weakest since June 28, according to Reuters data.

Many analysts have dismissed Erdogan's complaints about a foreign-led "economic war" against Turkey, suggesting they were largely a scapegoat for the failings of the Turkish leader's own economic policies.

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