Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

USA threatens new Turkey sanctions over Christian pastor

USA threatens new Turkey sanctions over Christian pastor

Next week's lower-level trade talks between China and the United States offer some hope of easing some of those tensions. The TSX rose just shy of 100 points for the day. The Wall Street Journal reported that talks will take place in Washington on August 21 and 22.

In mid-afternoon trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 148.97 points, or 0.58 percent, to 25,707.7, the S&P 500 gained 11.67 points, or 0.41 percent, to 2,852.36 and the Nasdaq Composite added 12.96 points, or 0.17 percent, to 7,819.48.

US stocks climbed higher in afternoon trading after a Mexican economic official told reporters that trade talks between the United States and Mexico were "advancing well".

Turkey's currency remains steady against the dollar despite an apparent threat of possible new sanctions by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.09 percent. It was last down by about 4 percent.

The talks come as the United States and Turkey, two major North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, are engaged in a bitter diplomatic and trade dispute over the detention of an American pastor accused of terror related charges that has helped drive the Turkish currency to record lows last week before recovering some of its losses in recent days.

The embattled currency, which has fallen by 40% this year amid a lack of interest rate hikes to control inflation, fell to around 5.86 to the dollar - continuing its recovery from a record low of 7.23 on Sunday.

Investors, already anxious about Turkey's economy, were irked by a diplomatic and trade dispute with the United States over the continued detention of an American pastor Andrew Brunson on espionage and terror-related charges.

White House Calls On Turkey to Release American Pastor Andrew Brunson
The Turkish currency began to recover after authorities this week took steps to help bank liquidity and limit swap transactions. A day later, US President Donald Trump doubled the tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium, sending the lira into free-fall.

Memories of past emerging market crises, such as the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and Turkey's 2001 crisis, came back to haunt investors this week and prompted a wave of selling across emerging market assets as a whole. Emerging market stocks .MSCIEF dipped 0.2 percent a day after falling more than 20 percent from their January intraday high.

Brent crude oil futures rose 0.4 per cent to $71.72 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.3 per cent at $65.66.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes last rose 2/32 in price to yield 2.8659 percent, from 2.871 percent late on Thursday.

In currency markets, the dollar index .DXY fell 0.1 percent, while the euro EUR= was up 0.27 percent to $1.1374 after closing Wednesday at its lowest point since July 2017.

On the TSX 168 issues advanced and 72 declined as a 2.3-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis Inc, Canopy Growth Corp and Bombardier Inc.

The TSX is up 0.7 percent for the year.

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