Index Futures Jump as Turkish Lira Stages Rebound

U.S. stock index futures recorded solid gains ahead of market open on Tuesday as the Turkish lira staged a rebound.

U.S. stock index futures recorded solid gains ahead of market open on Tuesday as the Turkish lira staged a rebound. After hitting an all-time low and falling to 7.24 per dollar on Monday, the Turkish lira finally rebounded, rising more than 4%. The Turkish lira had been under pressure that had been denting investors’ confidence.

Investors had felt jittery after the European Central Bank cast doubts over the country’s economy. Investors have been raising concerns over Turkey’s president Recep Erdogan’s growing powers and control over the country’s central bank. Also, President Donald Trump’s announcement supporting doubling of tariffs on a number of metals imported from Turkey had rattled markets. This saw investors moving to safer assets and shunning banks stocks.  

Markets ended lower on Monday as Turkey’s financial crisis deepened denting investors’ confidence once again, leading to huge selloffs in financial stocks. This saw the Dow and S&P 500 registering its fourth straight day of declines. Also, the Nasdaq ended in the red although some loses were pared by gains in tech stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) shed 0.5%, to close at 25,187.70, posting its longest losing streak since June. The S&P 500 declined 0.4% to close at 2,821.93. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,819.71, shedding 0.3%. The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge of investor anxiety, rose for the third straight day, reaching its highest level in a month. A total of 6.34 billion shares were traded on Monday, lower than the last 20-session average of 6.43 billion shares. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 2.09-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.88-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.

The Dow lost 125.44 points, posting its fourth straight day of decline as financial stocks led to huge selloffs. Shares JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. GS declined 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively. Also shares of Wells Fargo & Company WFC and Citigroup, Inc. C lost 0.8% and 1.6%, respectively. Citigroup has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The S&P 500 fell 11.35 points, registering its first fourth straight daily decline since March. Energy and materials stocks were the biggest suffers. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) declined 1.3%, while Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) shed 1%. Shares of Citigroup declined 2.4%. Shares of The Mosaic Company MOS declined 3.7%.

The tech heavy Nasdaq lost 19.40 points in an edgy session. However, the losses were somewhat pared by gain made by Apple, Inc. AAPL and Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN. Shares of Amazon and Apple increased 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively.

Turkey’s lira, which briefly fell to a record low of 20% on Friday, tumbled once again on Monday. Tension between the United States and Turkey escalated last week after a Turkish delegation returned with no apparent solutions regarding the detention of U.S. pastor Andrew Branson, who is facing charges of supporting a group accused of an attempted coup in 2016.

Moreover, the European Central Bank also raised concerns over the country’s economy. This follows after Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reelected in June in a snap vote. Erdogan’s growing powers has raised questions about the independence of Turkey’s central bank. This saw the lira falling to a record low once again on Monday despite Turkey’s central bank trying to assure global investors that it will provide maximum liquidity to that country’s banks.  

Although the United States doesn’t have much economic exposure to Turkey, its financial instability raised concerns in the minds of investors about the uncertainly looming large on the global economy that could result from this crisis. This made investors move to safer assets, leading to a huge selloff in bank stocks.

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