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The rand extended its drop after US President Donald Trump announced higher tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports.

A 20 percent fall in exports would only reduce GDP by 0.1 percentage point or less per year in the 19 countries that use the euro currency.

The Financial Times added to concerns with a report that the European Central Bank was anxious about possible losses at eurozone banks operating in Turkey.

Friday's announcement could further escalate tensions with Turkey, which continues to detain Andrew Brunson, an American pastor Ankara accuses of helping plot a 2016 coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The news comes as tensions between the United States and Turkey continue to grow over the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally's continued detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson.

"Officials are reportedly preparing stimulus measures in a bid to prop up growth, but these would simply exacerbate Turkey's economic vulnerabilities and could ultimately tip the country into a full-blown crisis, " Capital Economics said in a commentary.

Erdogan tried to allay fears, telling supporters in a speech today: "There are various campaigns being carried out".

"People looking at things this morning are much more aware that there is central (major) contagion risk", said David Owen, chief European economist at Jeffries in London.

Oil tumbles on slowing Chinese demand, U.S.-China trade spat
The Foreign Ministry of China stated on Wednesday that China vehemently opposes the unilateral sanctions from the U.S. on Iran. Analysts estimated that Iranian production would drop further amid the restored sanctions and drive the oil price further up.


President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has told his citizens to sell their savings held in euros and dollars and buy lira in order to prop up the lira, citing an "economic war" after the country's currency has plummeted. Speaking in the northeastern province of Gumushane, Erdogan said, "Apparently, those who believe they can force us to capitulate don't know [our] people at all".

Turkey's lira and the Russian rouble were hit hardest, according to analysts, with the lira hitting a new record low against the U.S. dollar on Friday. "Look at what we were 16 years ago and look at us now".

"We will not lose the economic war", state-run TRT Haber television quoted Erdogan as saying.

Turkey's economy is regarded as fragile because of its high debt, which the global Monetary Fund estimates is 50 percent of its gross domestic product. The lira slid to a fresh record low against the US dollar. The currency has fallen 66 percent since the start of the year. The plunge in the value of the currency coupled with an inflation rate of almost 16% could cause a lot of damage to Turkey's economy.

Observers have noted how fighting for Mr Brunson's cause is likely to be popular with Mr Trump's evangelical base ahead of crucial mid-term elections this November.

Investors are concerned with Erdogan's firm grip on Turkish monetary policy. Rate increases are the central bank's main tool to support the currency and fight inflation.

New Finance Minister Berat Albayrak - Erdogan's son-in-law - acknowledged that the central bank's independence was critical for the economy, promising stronger budget discipline and a priority on structural reforms.


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