Turkey’s lira hits an all-time low – again

Geopolitical concerns see lira depreciate to yet another record low against the US dollar, extends year loss to 24%.

Customers exchange Turkish lira banknotes at a foreign currency exchange bureau in Istanbul, Turkey [File: Bloomberg]

Turkey’s lira depreciated to a record against U.S. dollar, decoupling from other emerging-currencies amid mounting geopolitical risks in the region.

The lira fell as much as 0.9% to 7.8692 per dollar, extending losses this year to more than 24%, the second-biggest slide in emerging markets after Brazil’s real.

Turkey plans to test Russian-made S-400 missiles in defiance of U.S. complaints, while at the same time opposing Russia in the recent clashes in the Caucasus. It’s also pushing its own agenda in the eastern Mediterranean, putting it at odds with European Union members Greece and Cyprus.

“Apart from the ongoing clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the risk that the U.S. may imposes sanctions on Turkey for purchasing the S-400s from Russia has increased,” said Piotr Matys, a London-based strategist at Rabobank. “Testing the S-400s ahead of crucial U.S. presidential elections without knowing whether President Trump, who has an affinity for President Erdogan, will be re-elected is a major source of concerns for already nervous investors.”

Meanwhile, Turkey paid a premium as it sold $2.5 billion of debt to international investors on Tuesday, it’s first foray into global markets since February. The bonds priced at 6.4%, compared with 4.25% for similar-maturity notes issued in February.

Source: Bloomberg