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Turkish lira sinks to an all-time low amid tensions between Washington and Ankara

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  • The lira hit a record low against the dollar on Thursday.
  • Talks in Washington failed to deescalate tensions between the US and Turkey that had arisen over the detention of several Americans.
  • Watch the lira trade in real time here.

The Turkish lira hit an all-time low against the US dollar Thursday after diplomatic talks between Washington and Ankara appeared to break down.

The lira was down 3% versus the dollar at noon ET. It touched a record low of 5.5 against the greenback after Turkish officials returned from meetings with a delegation from the US Treasury and State Department without any resolution to a conflict over Turkey's detention of several Americans.

"The Turkish delegation went to Washington, and there seem to be no compromises on offer at the moment, and confidence in the currency remains weak," said Kit Juckes, the global head of FX strategy at Societe Generale. 

The Trump administration earlier this month announced sanctions against Turkey for failing to release Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor who has been detained for nearly two years. 

The sanctions target Turkey's minister of justice and minister of interior, whom the White House said played "leading roles" in the arrest and detention of 50-year-old Brunson. He was arrested in Izmir in 2016 for allegedly aiding a failed military coup — accusations the pastor denies.

The lira had already been under significant pressure, shedding nearly a third of its value against the dollar this year. The June reelection of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who grabbed newly-granted executive powers in the historic political change, rattled markets further.

Erdogan has signaled he will wield more influence over the country's central bank in his term. The self-proclaimed "enemy of interest rates" has pushed for unorthodox policies like cutting borrowing costs amid accelerating inflation.

The Turkish government said it would be announcing a "new economic plan" this week, but that seemed to do little for the lira. 

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