Turkish lira eases ahead of govt talks with US officials

Reuters , Wednesday 8 Aug 2018

Turkey's lira weakened against the dollar on Wednesday, giving up some of the gains it had made a day earlier ahead of talks between Turkish and U.S. officials in Washington to try to resolve a row that has hammered the currency.

The lira has fallen some 27 percent this year and plunged as much as 5.5 percent on Monday to 5.4250 per dollar, an all-time low and its biggest intraday drop in nearly a decade. Monday's decline came after Washington said it was reviewing access to the U.S. market for Turkey's exports.

The lira stood at 5.26 against the dollar at 0556 GMT, weakening from a close of 5.2260 on Tuesday, when it had firmed after news that a delegation from Turkey would go to Washington to hold talks in hope of easing tensions between the two countries.

Relations between Turkey and the United States have been strained by differences over Syria and the trial in Turkey of U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson for allegedly supporting the group Ankara blames for a 2016 abortive putsch. Brunson denies the charge.

The United States is seeking the release from detention of three locally employed embassy staff.

Washington last week imposed sanctions on President Tayyip Erdogan's justice minister and interior ministers, saying they played leading roles in organisations responsible for Brunson's arrest. Erdogan has said Turkey would retaliate against the sanctions.

At the weekend, the U.S. Trade Representative said the United States was reviewing Turkey's duty-free access to its markets, in a move could affect $1.7 billion of Turkish exports.

Turkey's newly appointed deputy foreign minister, Sedat Onal, will head the delegation to Washington, which includes three officials apiece from the justice, finance and foreign ministries.

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