Turkish lira steady despite new threats from Trump

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at Turkey, saying Washington will pay "nothing" to Ankara for the release of a detained American pastor.

Ankara accuses Mr Brunson - who operates a tiny evangelical church in Izmir - of having links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party and the Gulenist movement, which Turkey blames for a failed coup two years ago.

Turkey has been hit by a currency crisis fuelled by a heated row with the United States.

The Turkish lira stood at 5.80 against the dollar on Friday after record lows in the week.

"We've put sanctions on several of their Cabinet members", Mnuchin said during a Cabinet meeting with Trump.

Turkey retaliated with some $533 million of tariffs on some USA imports - including cars, tobacco and alcoholic drinks - and said it would boycott U.S. electronic goods.

"They want to hold our wonderful pastor", Trump added.

The crisis has been precipitated by investor alarm about President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy.

Around the same time as Mnuchin's comments, President Trump intervened on Tweeted that Turkey has "taken advantage of the United States for many years".


Dashing hopes for a quick solution to the dispute, a Turkish court on Friday rejected an appeal for the pastor's release from house detention.

A Trump tweet last week announcing a doubling of aluminum and steel tariffs for Turkey triggered the rout in the currency markets.

The Turkish finance minister and his French counterpart on Friday agreed over the phone to conduct a joint action against US sanctions targeting Turkey, according to the ministerial sources.

Turkey has proven a key ally for Qatar over the past year, helping the tiny Gulf nation ride out a more than 14-month blockade by its powerful neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, with which it shares its only land border. He did not elaborate on what measures the United States is willing to take if Turkey continues to play hardball over Brunson.

Standard & Poor's is scheduled to release a review of Turkey's sovereign credit rating after market close on Friday.

"Turkey will emerge stronger from these [currency] fluctuations", he said on Thursday as he addressed foreign investors and economists from the US, Europe and Asia via a conference call in a bid to soothe the markets. He said he was also considering an appeal to Turkey's constitutional court.

Experts say markets need more than technical remedies like the central bank's promise to provide emergency liquidity to banks, or the government's promise not to seize dollar-denominated bank deposits.

The lira lost strength after Mnuchin's remarks.

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