Shares were mixed Wednesday after Turkey announced it was increasing tariffs on imports of some U.S. products, escalating a feud with the United States that has helped trigger a currency crisis.
Germany’s DAX rose 0.3 percent to 12,392.13 and in France, the CAC 40 added 0.1 percent to 5,407.55. Britain’s FTSE 100 was almost flat at 7,609.37. The futures contracts for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average were down 0.1 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.7 percent to 22,204.22 and in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped 1.6 percent to 27,323.59. The Shanghai Composite index sank 2.1 percent to 2,723.26, while the S&P ASX 200 in Australia added 0.5 percent to 6,329.00. Shares fell in Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand but gained in Indonesia and Malaysia. South Korea’s markets were closed for a holiday.
Before Turkey announced the new tariffs, its currency, the lira, had steadied as officials from Turkey and the U.S. said the countries were in talks to ease diplomatic tensions that have led to higher U.S. tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum. Economists say Turkey’s central bank needs to raise interest rates significantly to strengthen its currency, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ruled out that step. The lira was down 4.4 percent at 6.09 to the dollar early Wednesday.
The Turkish lira continued to drive sentiment, analyst Chris Weston of IG said in a commentary. “With news that Finance Minister Albayrak will hold a teleconference with investors on Thursday, there are hopes of new measures to stabilize the economy, thus providing interim respite.”
Benchmark U.S. crude fell 60 cents to $66.44 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 16 cents to $67.04 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gave up 60 cents to $71.86 per barrel.
The dollar rose to 111.30 yen from 111.14 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1331 from $1.1348.