It's been a rough few days in the world's emerging markets, led by a currency crisis in Turkey. Asian shares skidded on Monday and the Euro hit one year lows after the Turkish lira plunged even deeper over the weekend. Japan's Nikkei lost 1.6%, China's blue chip index lost 1.4 and Hong Kong stocks were also down 1.6%.
Investors globally headed for safe harbors, including the US dollar, as the selloff in Turkey spread to emerging markets abroad, including South Africa's rand. At one point, the lira hit an all-time low of more than 7.2 against the dollar. Since this time last month, it's almost lost a third of its value.
Turkey moved to put investors at ease this weekend after the country's finance minister said an economic action plan would be put into place on Monday. But analysts told Reuters the plunge in Turkey's lira looked certain to push the country's economy into recession, and had the potential to trigger a banking crisis in the county.
That could be a big blow for emerging markets more broadly, but one analyst told Reuters, with a GDP smaller than the Netherlands, spillover from Turkey may be modest. A dispute between Turkey and the US has weighed on the lira. The two NATO allies have been at odds over Syria, and Turkey's ambition to buy Russian defense systems.
But anger has flared up recently over evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson. He's on trial in Turkey for allegedly belonging to a terrorist group. In July, Brunson was moved to house arrest after spending 20 months in prison. Donald Trump has tweeted that he wants the pastor released. On Friday, Trump announced the US was doubling tariffs on steel and aluminum from Turkey, saying relations were quote, not good at this time.