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Turkey stocks drop, lira hovers near record low as President Erdogan declares a 3-month state of emergency after devastating earthquake

Turkish liraA money changer counts Turkish lira bills at an currency exchange office in Istanbul December 16, 2014.

REUTERS/Murad Sezer

  • Turkish stocks and the lira fell Tuesday in the wake of a deadly 7.8 earthquake on Monday. 
  • Turkey’s President Erdogan declared a state of emergency in areas hard hit by the natural disaster. 
  • Sharp losses in Turkish stocks prompted two trading halts. 

Stocks in Turkey dropped and the country’s currency fell Tuesday, extending losses as areas of the country enter a state of emergency in the wake of a strong earthquake that has killed thousands of people and has sent rescuers searching for survivors. 

The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index fell 7.1%, and steep losses triggered circuit breakers that forced trading to halt twice, Reuters reported. The index on Monday ended 1.3% lower after managing to pare a sharper decline.

In US trade, the iShares MSCI Turkey ETF fell 6%, adding to its 2.4% decline on Monday.

The lira languished at a record low for a second session, with the dollar buying 18.8283 liras. The currency touched a low of 18.85 against the greenback on Monday. 

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 provinces that were hit the hardest in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The temblor struck southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria early Monday morning local time.  

More than 5,000 people have died as a result of the natural disaster and more than 8,000 people have been rescued, according to ABC News, citing officials. 

US President Biden has ordered teams to Turkey to aid in the rescue efforts. Countries in the European Union on Monday also sent search and rescue teams to the country.

A chart showing a decline in the Borsa Istanbul 100 stock index.Borsa Istanbul 100 index chart.

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