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Global stocks sink as Turkey fears hurt emerging markets

A woman walks past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index outside a Hong Kong local bank Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Asian stock prices sank Monday as Turkey’s financial turmoil fueled fears contagion might spread to other emerging markets. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock prices sank Monday as Turkey’s financial turmoil fueled fears of contagion in other emerging markets.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX declined 0.6 percent to 12,346 and London’s FTSE 100 retreated 0.5 percent to 7,625. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.2 percent to 5,401. On Wall Street, futures for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Dow Jones industrial averages were down 0.3 percent.

ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.3 percent to 2,785.87 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 2 percent to 21,857.43. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retreated 1.5 percent to 27,936.57 and Seoul’s Kospi was 1.5 percent lower at 2,248.45. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.4 percent to 6,252.20 and India’s Sensex was off 0.2 percent at 33,755.14. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia also declined.

TURKISH TURMOIL: Investors question whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government can cope with a plunging currency, a diplomatic spat with Washington and other economic problems. Erdogan has accumulated more and more control over Turkey’s financial system and does not want the central bank to raise interest rates — though independent economists say that’s needed to support the currency. U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he will authorize higher tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum. Erdogan has remained defiant, making investors increasingly nervous.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “Turkey’s financial crisis has taken center stage, displacing trade wars as the immediate concern,” said Eugene Leow of DBS Group in a report. Worries are building that “this may lead to contagion” across emerging markets, said Leow. “We fail to see how the crisis can be resolved without external support,” but an International Monetary Fund support package will be difficult “given Turkey’s current political situation.”

CURRENCIES: Turkey’s currency fell another 8 percent on Monday, bringing its losses this year to 46 percent. Other developing countries have seen their currencies hit amid the questions over Turkey. The South African rand was down almost 3 percent. The dollar, which had risen Friday as investors bought as a safe haven, edged back to 110.34 yen from Friday’s 110.93. The euro fell to $1.1382 from $1.1411.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 29 cents to $67.34 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude lost 7 cents to $72.74 in London. It closed at $72.83 the previous session.

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