Bank stocks dive, euro falls as Turkey turmoil spreads
LONDON, August 10, 2018 (News Wires) - A plunge in the Turkish lira rocked global equities and emerging markets on Friday, and fears of more turmoil sent investors scurrying for safety in assets like the yen and US government bonds.
The lira fell as much as 14 per cent against the dollar, chalking up its worst day since Turkey's financial crisis of 2001.
It came on the back of a deepening rift with the United States, worries about its own economy and lack of action from policymakers. The currency is now down more than 36 per cent this year, and 17 per cent this month alone, fanning worries about a full-blown economic crisis.
"It is hard to pinpoint the point of no return (for Turkey and the lira)" said Tilmann Kolb in the Chief Investment Office at UBS Wealth Management.
Bank shares across the continent fell and the euro slipped to its lowest since July 2017 as the Financial Times quoted sources as saying that the European Central Bank was concerned about European lenders' exposure to Turkey.
Shares in France's BNP Paribas, Italy's UniCredit and Spain's BBVA, the banks seen as most exposed to Turkey, fell as much as 4 per cent.
That took euro zone bank shares down 1.3 per cent while the pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.7 per cent.
"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.
"Having said that, what's happening in emerging markets is leading to risk-free rates being bid for and that includes Treasuries, Bunds and gilts."