Last week, the focus among investors was on Turkey, a country that is facing major challenges. Its currency has fallen by more than 70% this year and as things stand, the country might face more challenges ahead. The problems have been compounded by the country’s continued arrest of an American pastor who has been accused of being a spy who participated in the attempted coup. The US is also demanding the release of Turkish nationals who work for the US in Turkey. Today, the Turkish Lira is slightly higher than the US dollar. Over the weekend, Turkish negotiators suggested to release the pastor under the condition that the US remove the fines on a major Turkish bank. The bank, Halkbank is facing billions of dollars in US fines for violating sanctions on Iran. The US has rebuffed the offer and called for the immediate release of the pastor.
Two weeks ago, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla sent a tweet suggesting that he was interested in taking the company private. In the tweet, he said that the funding for the deal was secured. This tweet caught everyone by surprise and presented new trouble for the 47-year old CEO. By sending the tweet, and by saying the funding was secured, it was an indication that the company was ready to sell. In the recent days however, it has emerged that the funding was not secured. In an interview last week with the New York Times (NYT), Musk gave details of how he sent the tweet, which led to a major slump on the stock. Over the weekend, it emerged that the Saudi fund that Musk was hoping to fund the company was funding a rival company known as Lucid Motors. As the SEC conducts an investigation, the Tesla stock – as well as the Nasdaq futures – could be in trouble.
Over the weekend, Iran continued to play hard ball with the United States. The country has recently come under pressure from the US for its continued development of ballistic missiles. These missiles were not in the Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action (JCPOA), which the US pulled out of recently. The US started imposing sanctions a few weeks ago but the country’s leaders are defiant. This weekend, they announced that they had mounted a locally made advanced defensive weapons system on one of its warships for the first time, as tensions rise with the U.S. military in the Gulf. As the US moves to end oil exports from the country, the leaders have threatened to interrupt oil shipments by gulf state countries.
President Xi Jinping of China announced that he will visit North Korea. He will be the first major global leader to visit a country that has increasingly become isolated. As China and US conflict on trade continues, the new visit could be seen as a shift in policy. Traders will watch closely what the Chinese will offer the Kim regime.
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