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ANKARA, August 13, 2018 (News Wires) - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticised the government for economic mismanagement after US imposed biting sanctions on the country, Iranian state TV reported on Monday.

"More than (US) sanctions, economic mismanagement is putting pressure on ordinary Iranians ... I do not call it betrayal but a huge mistake in management," Khamenei was quoted as saying.

The United States reimposed strict sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, with Trump threatening to penalise businesses from third countries that continue to operate in the Islamic Republic. Iran has denounced the sanctions as "US unilateralism".

BEIJING, August 11, 2018 (News Wires) - China’s business and energy ties with Iran do not harm the interests of any other country, the country’s Foreign Ministry said, after US President Donald Trump said companies doing business with Iran would be barred from the United States.

China has already defended its commercial relations with Iran as open and transparent as US sanctions on Iran took effect despite pleas from Washington’s allies.

In a statement released late Friday, China’s foreign ministry reiterated its opposition to unilateral sanctions and “long-armed jurisdiction”.

“For a long time, China and Iran have had open, transparent and normal commercial cooperation in the fields of business, trade and energy, which is reasonable, fair and lawful,” it said.

“This does not violate United Nations Security Council resolutions or China’s promised international obligations, nor does it harm the interests of any other country, and should be respected and protected,” the ministry added.

Using sanctions at the slightest pretext or to threaten anyone won’t resolve the problem, it said.

“Only dialogue and negotiations are the true path to resolving the issue,” the ministry added.

China, Iran’s top oil customer, buys roughly 650,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Tehran, or 7 per cent of China’s total crude oil imports. At current market rates, the imports are worth some $15 billion a year.

State energy firms CNPC and Sinopec have invested billions of dollars in key Iranian oil fields such as Yadavaran and North Azadegan and have been sending oil to China.

European countries, hoping to persuade Tehran to continue to respect the nuclear deal, have promised to try to lessen the blow of sanctions and to urge their firms not to pull out.

But that has proven difficult, and European companies have quit Iran, arguing that they cannot risk their US business.

Few American companies do much business in Iran so the impact of sanctions mainly stems from Washington’s ability to block European and Asian firms from trading there.

LONDON, August 11, 2018 (News Wires) - A plunge in the Turkish lira rocked global equities and emerging markets and fear of further fallout sent investors scurrying for safety in assets like the yen and US government bonds.

European shares and a gauge of global equity markets closed down more than 1 per cent, while Wall Street also fell, though not as much. Germany’s DAX index slid 2 per cent.

The lira fell as much as 18 per cent against the dollar in its worst day since Turkey’s financial crisis of 2001. The plunge followed a deepening rift with the United States, worries about its own economy and lack of action from policymakers.

President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks to swap gold and dollars into lira as the currency tumbled after President Donald Trump doubled US tariffs on metals imports from Turkey.

Turkey later warned the United States that sanctions and pressure would only serve to harm ties between the two Nato allies, adding Ankara would continue to retaliate as necessary against US tariffs. The lira has fallen more than 40 per cent this year, fanning worries about a full-blown economic crisis.

Bank shares across Europe fell and the euro slipped to its lowest since July 2017 as the Financial Times quoted sources as saying the European Central Bank was concerned about European lenders’ exposure to Turkey. The country is not a member of the European Union but is economically linked to it.

The dollar rose as exposure to Turkey could impact European banks and spark a domino effect as people begin to pull out of those banks and into US assets, said Gregan Anderson, macroeconomic strategist at brokerage Bulltick LLC.

The flare-up in tensions has made it difficult for global investors to justify remaining in Europe and is negative for emerging markets, he said.

Policy errors created the current situation, with Turkey’s central bank decision not to raise rates in their last meeting a key driver, said Charlie Wilson, an emerging markets-focused portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“The lira has been weakening since and it’s coming to a head today,” Wilson said, adding the downward spiral will continue if Turkey insists on a soft landing.

“The only way to correct these policy mistakes is to really make some concrete changes on the fiscal and monetary side.”

Shares in France’s BNP Paribas, Italy’s UniCredit and Spain’s BBVA, the banks seen as most exposed to Turkey, fell 3 per cent or more.

An index of regional banking shares closed down 3.2 per cent while the pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 1.07 per cent.

The MSCI All-Country World index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was down 1.22 per cent and erased all its gains for the week.

Wall Street also fell.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 196.09 points, or 0.77 per cent, to 25,313.14. The S&P 500 lost 20.3 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 2,833.28 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 52.67 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 7,839.11.

Investors piled into “safe” government debt, with German yields hitting three-week lows and the yield on the benchmark US 10-year Treasury note falling to 2.8750 per cent as investors sought its safety.

The safe-haven Japanese yen hit a one-month high of 113.38 against the dollar, and was last traded at 110.91.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a group of six major currencies, breached 96, taking it to its highest level since July 2017. It was last up 0.84 per cent at 96.309.

Emerging market stocks lost 1.66 per cent, while the Mexican peso, a proxy for emerging market currencies, shed 1.29 per cent to the dollar.

Adding to emerging market currency woes was the Russian ruble, which weakened to 67.6825 to the dollar. Overnight it had retreated to its lowest since November 2016 on threats of new US sanctions, weakening beyond the psychologically important 65-per-dollar threshold.

Oil prices rose more than 1 per cent as US sanctions against Iran looked set to tighten supply, but futures remained lower for the week as investors worried that global trade disputes could slow economic growth and hurt demand for energy.

SHANGHAI, August 11, 2018 (News Wires) - The internationalization of the renminbi has made progress, Zhou Xiaochuan, former governor of China's central bank, said on Saturday.

"The internationalization of the renminbi is not a linear progress. It will move faster when there are opportunities to do so. Sometimes, it will move more slowly. But in the longer view, the internationalization of the renminbi is still promising," Zhou said at a financial forum in Shanghai.

Zhou said that the development of financial sanctions would have some impact on the US dollar's use as an international reserve currency and as an international means of payment. Diversification was important for reserve currencies, and the renminbi and other currencies would begin to be considered internationally, he said.

Zhou stepped down in March after 15 years at the helm of the People's Bank of China.

LONDON, August 10, 2018 (News Wires) - British banks should pass on last week's Bank of England interest rate rise to savers as "a matter of trust", the chair of the parliament committee which monitors them said on Friday.

"Passing on interest rate rises to savers as well as borrowers is a matter of trust which our banks would do well to take on," lawmaker Nicky Morgan, a member of Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party, said on Twitter.

Last week the BoE raised its benchmark interest rate to 0.75 percent from 0.5 percent, its highest since it slashed borrowing costs during the 2008-09 financial crisis.

BoE Governor Mark Carney said he did not expect banks to pass rate rises on in full to savers because during the crisis rates on many low-interest bank accounts had been unable to fall by the full amount by which the BoE cut its own interest rate.

Earlier on Friday, The Times newspaper reported that only one British lender -- Beverley Building Society in northern England -- had said it would increase interest rates for all savers by 0.25 percentage points.

Interest rates on many mortgages rise automatically by the full amount of BoE interest rate rises.

 

 

 

MOSCOW, August 10, 2018 (MENA) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said imposing more sanctions against Russia is a declaration of economic war, Sputnik news agency reported on Friday.

The remarks came during answering a question on the effect of other sanctions, which might be imposed, on Russia's economy.

The Russian premier said he does not want to comment on the coming sanctions, adding that it is important to respond to these sanctions by economic or political means.

The sanctions affect the country's economy and foreign exchange, he added.

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