Turkey’s stock market has plummeted in the three days since a devastating earthquake hit the country’s south, piling further pain onto an already fragile economy.
Trading on Istanbul’s stock exchange was halted Wednesday after the main index dropped 7% in early dealing, according to Turkey’s Central Securities Depository.
The suspension came after the exchange attempted to restore calm by issuing two circuit breakers — a temporary stop in trading to stem panic-selling.
A spokesperson for the exchange said that the market would remain closed on Thursday.
Early Monday morning, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked parts of southern Turkey and northern Syria, claiming more than 9,500 lives so far. It is the strongest to hit Turkey since 1939, when an earthquake of the same magnitude killed 30,000 people, according to the United States Geological Survey.
The disaster arrived hit at a time when Turkey is battling economic crises on several fronts. Annual consumer price inflation peaked at 85.5% in October, before falling back. But in January prices were still high, with a 12.98% year-on-year increase.
The Turkish lira has lost nearly a third of its value against the dollar since the start of the year, while unemployment has risen to more than 14%.
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