Turkey assets weaken on Middle East jitters

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Turkish assets weakened on Friday, with the lira currency sliding for the fourth straight session as worries about the potential impact of escalating conflict in Yemen battered investor confidence.

The lira has underperformed several other major emerging market currencies this year, given fears about political meddling in monetary policy and a slow-down in economic growth.

Now, regional political tension appears to be adding to the negative sentiment.

“The lira weakened further this morning as a result of the heightening geopolitical risks in the Middle East,” analysts at Finansbank said in a note to clients.

In Yemen, Saudi Arabia and its allies carried out air strikes against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels on Thursday and Friday.

The lira was nearly 1 percent weaker at 2.6180 to the dollar at 1107 GMT, compared with the previous session’s close of 2.5930.

The currency has weakened more than 12 percent this year, making it the fifth-worst performer in a basket of 25 emerging market currencies, according to Reuters data.

Istanbul’s main stock index was down 1.3 percent.

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