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Turkish lira hits weekly low on EU sanctions risk

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Turkey’s lira hit its weakest in nearly a week on Thursday on concerns over possible sanctions after Bloomberg reported Ankara would soon test its Russia-purchased S-400 missile defences, and as tensions with the European Union appeared to rise.

The lira slipped some 0.5% to as much as 7.8 against the dollar. It stood at 7.7950 at 1503 GMT.

Washington has threatened sanctions over the S-400s Turkey bought last year but has not yet used. Bloomberg said Ankara would do a comprehensive test next week. The Defence Ministry did not comment.

The separate risk of EU sanctions also appeared to rise after President Tayyip Erdogan told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the decisions at an EU summit earlier this month were insufficient to overcome disagreements over maritime rights with Greece and Cyprus.

Adding to pressure on the lira, Erdogan and the leader of Turkish Cypriots later announced a town in Cyprus that has been closed since a 1974 Turkish invasion would be re-opened. The invasion ultimately split the island in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

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