Turkey’s lira hit a record low and its stock market tumbled on Monday after a major earthquake killed nearly 1,500 people and wounded thousands of others in the country, piling on further economic hardship in a region already grappling with economic instability and geopolitical turmoil. Another 700 deaths have been reported in Syria, according to Reuters.
The Turkish lira
fell to a record low of 18.83 against a strong dollar on Monday, while the country’s major stock index, the Turkey ISE National 100
— which tracks the performance of 100 companies selected from the National Market, real estate investment trusts and venture capital investment trusts listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange — tumbled 1.4%.
The iShares MSCI Turkey ETF
which tracks several dozen Turkish equities, slumped 1.9%.
Also see: 7.8-magnitude quake kills more than 1,900, knocks down buildings in southeast Turkey and Syria
At least 1,498 people were killed and 8,533 people were injured in Turkey when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck central Turkey and northwest Syria early Monday morning, followed by another large quake in the afternoon, according to Yunus Sezer, the head of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimated on Monday that there was a high probability that the economic losses from the initial earthquake could top $1 billion.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, jumped 0.7% on Monday.
See: Oil prices look to extend last week’s slide
Oil futures traded lower as of Monday morning despite news reports that Turkey has halted crude-oil flows to its export terminal in Ceyhan. Turkish pipeline operator BOTAS said there was no damage on main pipelines which carry crude oil from Iraq and Azerbaijan to Turkey, according to Reuters.
Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government has stopped shipments through the pipeline which runs from Iraq’s northern Kirkuk fields to Ceyhan, the region’s ministry of natural resources said on Monday.