Turkish President Calls for Boycott of U.S. Electronics

Energy and industrial companies took some of the worst losses while technology companies held up better

Turkey on Wednesday announced tariff hikes on a range of USA goods in the latest back-and-forth move amid a deteriorating relationship between the two countries.

The decree said the move brought tariffs to 50 percent on imports of U.S. rice, 140 percent on hard alcoholic drinks like spirits, 60 percent in leaf tobacco and 60 percent on cosmetics.

Turkey doubled tariffs on some USA imports including alcohol, cars and tobacco on Wednesday in retaliation for US moves, but the lira rallied further after the central bank's liquidity moves had the effect of supporting the currency.

It was unclear how the Turkish leader planned to implement the boycott.

Erdogan said on Tuesday the country will boycott United States electronic goods in response to USA measures meant to punish Turkey.

Last Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he had authorized higher tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Turkey.

She said Turkey would continue to "protect the rights of Turkish companies and retaliate" against unjust actions by the United States.

The move comes amid increased tension between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Ankara's imprisonment of a pastor and other diplomatic issues.

Brunson was arrested in October 2016 during a nation-wide purge of suspected dissidents following the aftermath of a failed coup in July 2016.

The ruckus between Turkey and the U.S. has impacted on other countries' currencies, including the Indian rupee, as investors fear the lira's wobbles could spread to developing nations.

Even though a meeting between National Security Adviser John Bolton and Turkey's US ambassador on Monday yielded no public progress, the White House is now leading the talks with Turkey over Brunson's release and a host of other issues that have dragged down the alliance.

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The Turkish currency nosedived in value over concerns about Erdogan's economic policies and after the United States slapped sanctions on Turkey angered by the continued detention of an American pastor.

The United States imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers over the trial on terrorism charges of USA evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey, and last week Washington raised tariffs on Turkish metal exports.

Following the Qatar news, the lira firmed briefly to 5.8699 from 6.04 to the dollar, before easing back to 6.0500 by 1658 GMT.

Turkish lira plunged on concerns over the deepening rift between Washington and Ankara, hitting a record low of 7.24 against USA dollar and weakening some 45 percent so far this year.

Portraying the lira weakness as a plot, Mr Erdogan has repeatedly called on Turks to sell their dollars to shore the local currency up.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Turkish business groups called on the government to institute tighter monetary policy in order to combat the currency crisis. "In our country, there is Venus Vestel", he said, referring to a Turkish-made smartphone. Argentina's peso hit its weakest on record with another emergency interest rate rise doing little to stem the drop.

"Russia would be Turkey's more likely security partner before China, since the two countries already have a working relationship in Syria".

Turkey announced in December that it had concluded an agreement with Russia to buy two Russian S-400 defence missile systems by late 2019.

Turkey's weakened currency, the lira, plunged by more than 20% in response to those U.S. sanctions.

"We are going to produce enough for ourselves".

"We as Turkish Airlines are taking our place alongside our state and people", senior vice president for media relations Yahya Ustun tweeted.

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