Turkey’s stock exchange, Borsa Istanbul, suspended trading on Wednesday following two massive earthquakes that hit the country, causing a selloff that erased billions of dollars from the value of the main equities gauge. Trading of shares on the benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index was halted due to a 7.1% decline Wednesday, which followed a 16% drop this week.
The catastrophic earthquakes caused destruction in 10 cities in Turkey, leading to the BIST 100 index plummeting almost 10% in the two days it remained open. As a result, the stock exchange decided to suspend trading for five days, until the evening of February 14. The lira also fell to a record low following the quake, but has since made a slight recovery.
Turkish opposition lawmaker Murat Bakin commented on the suspension, saying that the trading done on the Istanbul Stock Exchange since the earthquake should be canceled. The stock exchange responded by announcing that all trades executed on February 8th will be cancelled and the closure will continue until the evening of February 14th.
The devastating earthquakes have had far-reaching economic implications, with the benchmark borrowing costs rising by roughly half a percentage point since the tremors hit Turkey and northern Syria on Monday. With the closure of the Istanbul Stock Exchange, it is unclear how the country will move forward in the wake of this tragedy.
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