Stocks, emerging market currencies rise on planned U.S.-China trade talks

Oscar PerryAug 18, 2018

Turkey's currency, which had recovered from record losses against the dollar earlier in the week, was down about 5% against the dollar on Friday.

US President Donald Trump attacked Turkey on Friday, saying the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally is not a friend and had made up espionage charges against an American pastor detained in the country.

"We have responded to the measures the United States has taken, and will continue to do so based on our global trade law rights and in accordance to World Trade Organization rules", said the minister, Ruhsar Pekcan.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin assured President Donald Trump at a cabinet meeting that sanctions were ready to be put in place unless Brunson was freed.

The United States had warned Turkey on Thursday to expect more economic sanctions unless it handed over Mr Brunson, who has been held for two years on security-related charges.

The US doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports and Turkey hit back with $533 million of tariffs on some US imports that include cars, tobacco and alcoholic drinks, with the additional warning it would boycott US electronics.

In a tweet on Thursday, Trump urged Brunson to serve as a "great patriot hostage" while he is jailed and criticized Turkey for "holding our wonderful Christian Pastor".

Turkish authorities arrested Brunson in October of 2016 and accused him of being part of the attempted military coup earlier that summer.

U.S. media counters Trump with #EnemyOfNone campaign
The Fayetteville Observer said it hopes Mr Trump will stop making such accusations, "but we're not holding our breath". Thursday's edition of the Boston Globe features a full spread taking on President Donald Trump's fake news claims.

Trump's comments came after a court in Izmir province rejected an appeal to release Brunson from house arrest, saying evidence was still being collected and the pastor posed a flight risk, according to a copy of the court ruling seen by Reuters.

"Turkey has been a problem for a long time", Trump said to reporters as he left the White House.

For years Turkish firms have borrowed in dollars and lira to take advantage of lower interest rates.

But according to Middle East Eye, Turkish diplomats said they could release Brunson anyway, subject to further concessions from the USA which could soothe diplomatic tensions and helping alleviate the diplomatic and economic crisis.

The statement was published just a day after Pekcan announced that Turkey would challenge the recently imposed U.S. tariffs at the World Trade Organization (WTO), Sputnik reported.

Erdogan wrote in an op-ed last week for The New York Times: "The Turkish people expected the United States to unequivocally condemn the attack and express solidarity with Turkey's elected leadership". Mr Gulen denies the allegations.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier criticised Turkey's move to impose tariffs on some United States goods as "regrettable and a step in the wrong direction".

Turkey, in turn, criticized the prosecution in the USA of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a top official at Turkey's state-controlled Halkbank who was convicted of helping Iran avoid US sanctions. Turkish officials say the case is a matter for the courts.

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