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After hitting new record low, Turkish lira pares some losses on central bank statements

The Turkish lira retraced some losses after touching a new record low in Asia’s Monday trade following a recent geopolitics-triggered free fall in the currency.

On Monday, the lira last traded down by around 3.5 percent against the greenback at 6.6475 at 2:30 p.m. HK/SIN. It had earlier dropped to a fresh all-time low of 7.24, before paring some losses after moves were taken to assuage market nerves frayed by the currency’s recent weakness.

The retracement in losses came after the Turkish central bank moved to improve liquidity during Asia afternoon trade. Among the moves announced Monday were a slashing of lira required reserves held by banks by 250 basis points for all maturities, Reuters said.

Before that, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak had said in a Sunday interview with local media outlet Hurriyet that the government had a plan in place following the fall in the lira, Reuters reported. Albayrak said Turkish institutions will take “necessary steps” beginning Monday, but the news agency said few specifics had been provided on what those steps included.

The lira briefly plunged 20 percent against the dollar on Friday, finishing the U.S. session lower by some 16 percent after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had approved metals tariffs on Turkey to be doubled.

The weakness in the lira came against the backdrop of the Turkish economy facing major challenges, but it has come under pressure most recently after U.S.-Turkey talks over the detention of a U.S. pastor in Turkey appeared to make no major progress.

“The decline in the lira is multifaceted, caused not only by a weak external position in terms of current account deficit and inadequate currency reserves, but also the challenging political environment which exacerbates the vulnerabilities in the lira,” Kerry Craig, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, wrote in a recent note.

“A mid-meeting rate hike and tightening of monetary policy may help to avert the lira’s decline, to some extent,” he added.

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