Turkish lira firms as markets reopen with eye on US row

The lira, which has weakened 37 percent against the US currency this year, firmed to 5.9905 from Friday’s close of 6.00. (AFP/File)
Updated 27 August 2018
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Turkish lira firms as markets reopen with eye on US row

  • The slide has been driven by concerns over Erdogan’s grip on monetary policy and the standoff with Washington
  • Erdogan has cast the lira slide as the result of an “economic war” against Turkey

ISTANBUL: The Turkish lira gained slightly against the dollar on Monday as markets reopened after last week’s holiday, with investors set to refocus on a bitter dispute between Ankara and Washington over an American pastor being tried in Turkey.
The lira, which has weakened 37 percent against the US currency this year, firmed to 5.9905 from Friday’s close of 6.00 — the same level at which it stood a week ago when Turkish markets closed for the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha.
The slide has been driven by investor concerns over President Tayyip Erdogan’s grip on monetary policy and the standoff with Washington over the fate of pastor Andrew Brunson, being tried in Turkey on terrorism charges that he denies.
In his first comments on the currency crisis since before the holiday, Erdogan said on Saturday the commitment and determination of Turks was the guarantee needed to combat attacks on Turkey’s economy.
Erdogan has cast the lira slide as the result of an “economic war” against Turkey, a comment echoed by his spokesman last week when US President Donald Trump ruled out concessions to Ankara in return for Brunson’s release.
Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, subsequently said Ankara had made a “big mistake” by not freeing Brunson and voiced skepticism about Qatar’s offer of $15 billion in investment support for Turkey.


Moody’s downgrades Nissan’s credit rating, citing weak sales in US

Updated 8 min 43 sec ago
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Moody’s downgrades Nissan’s credit rating, citing weak sales in US

  • Nissan reported a 45 percent plunge in annual operating profit in the year ending March
  • Moody’s cut its rating of Nissan’s credit to ‘A3’ from ‘A2’

TOKYO: Moody’s cut its rating on Nissan by one notch on Friday, citing weak sales in the United States and casting a shadow on the Japanese automaker’s move to improve its business following a decline in its annual profit.
Nissan — hit by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s arrest last year and troubles at its North American business — reported a 45 percent plunge in annual operating profit in the year ending March, and forecast a 28 percent drop in profit this fiscal year.
Moody’s cut its rating of Nissan’s credit to “A3” from “A2,” adding that the outlook was negative.
“The downgrade reflects the continuing slide in Nissan’s profitability, driven by weak sales in the US, its largest market,” Moody’s Vice President Motoki Yanase said in a statement.
While Nissan’s new strategy focuses on margin over unit sales growth and refreshing old models to improve its brand value, the ratings agency expects the overhaul will take “several years.”
“The negative outlook on Nissan reflects execution risk as Nissan implements its business strategies globally, reforms its corporate governance and stabilizes its alliance with Renault,” it said.
France’s Renault is the top shareholder in Nissan.