U.S. Treasury Yields Edge Higher, Turkey Woes Dwindle

U.S. Treasury debt yields edged higher across the board today as the news surrounding the economic crisis in Turkey dwindled with the benchmark 10-year yield rising to 2.889 and the 30-year yield ticking higher to 3.055.

In addition, the 3-month, 2-year and 5-year yields moved higher to 2.076, 2.633 and 2.763, respectively. Meanwhile, U.S. equities gained on dwindling woes from Turkey as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 120 points as of 2:10 p.m. ET, while both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were higher–the S&P was up 18 points and the Nasdaq up over 45 points.

Social Media Crackdown

Turkey’s interior ministry announced it is initiating a wave of investigations into 346 social media accounts posting negative comments regarding the lira to help stem the tide from a devaluing Turkish lira. The Istanbul prosecutor’s office announced that the investigations will target individuals that threaten the country’s “economic security” by posting comments via social media about the lira’s weakening “in a provocative way.”

The social media crackdown runs in conjunction with Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s claims that the U.S. and other countries are in cahoots in order to launch “economic warfare” against the country. The Turkish prosecutor’s office pledged to take appropriate action against all news, media and social media commentary the government deems as undermining Turkish assets.

“They have done this before. Trying to control the info space around the currency so as to reduce the risks of bank runs,” said Timothy Ash, senior emerging markets strategist at Bluebay Asset Management. Instead of offering a clear plan to stabilize the lira, Erdogan has been urging his countrymen to trade in their dollars, euros and gold for lira as part of a “national struggle”

In the past three days, the lira has lost 30% of its value and more than 40% against the dollar as geopolitical tensions rise with the United States and investor fears regarding the central bank’s independency with respect to monetary policy. Furthermore, U.S. President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on aluminum and steel last week, providing further strain to the local currency.