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14-Aug2018

US markets end lower as Turkey crisis continues to rattle investors

The US markets ended lower on Monday on lingering concerns about the Turkish economy and the recent sell-off by the country's currency. The Turkish lira hit a new record low against the US dollar in Asian trading before regaining some ground after Turkey's central bank took measures to boost liquidity in the foreign exchange market. Turkey's central bank tried to assuage global investors' fears on Monday, stating it will provide as much liquidity as needed to the country's banks. The central bank also said it will keep monitoring the situation closely. The Turkish economy has been reeling recently as its inflation rate reached 16% last month, well above the central bank's 5% target.

The Turkish lira, which briefly tumbled more than 20% on Friday, reached a fresh record low on Monday before regaining some footing. Tensions between the US and Turkey increased last week after a Turkish delegation returned from Washington with no apparent progress on the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson, who is charged with supporting a group blamed for an attempted coup in 2016. While the US does not have much direct economic exposure to the country, instability in the region sparked concerns that its problems could spill over to other parts of the world, exacerbating the uncertainty surrounding trade relations between the US and its major trading partners. Trading activity remained somewhat subdued, however, with a lack of major US economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 125.44 points or 0.50 percent to 25187.70, the S&P 500 lost 11.35 points or 0.40 percent to 2821.93 and Nasdaq was down by 19.40 points or 0.25 percent to 7819.71.


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