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Turkey ETF ends 8% lower as presidential election heads for runoff

An exchange-traded fund that tracks Turkey’s stock market tumbled on Monday as the nation headed for a runoff vote after longtime leader President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pulled ahead of his rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, but fell short of an outright victory that would extend his two-decade rule of the NATO-member country. 

The iShares MSCI Turkey ETF
which tracks several dozen Turkish equities, ended 8.4% lower on Monday.

The country’s major stock index, the Borsa Istanbul 100 Index

— 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 over 6%. The sharp selloff prompted the Istanbul exchange to halt trading briefly on Monday.

The Turkish currency

touched a record low of 19.67 against a strong U.S. dollar on Monday morning. 

See: Turkish stocks tumble and dollar reaches new high vs. lira after election stalemate

With almost all the ballots counted, Erdogan led his major challenger Kilicdaroglu with 49.4% of votes to Kilicdaroglu’s 44.96%, according to the High Election Board. Erdogan is set to face Kilicdaroglu in a second round of voting on May 28 as neither candidate appears to have won the 50% of votes needed for victory as of Monday.

Economic uncertainties have shaken support for Erdogan as the country reels from the two-decade high inflation attributed to the president’s unorthodox monetary policy to reduce interest rates despite cost-of-living crisis, as well as its most devastating earthquake since 1999 that killed more than 59,000 people earlier this year. 

This story originally appeared on Marketwatch

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