Turkish stocks fall after Iran launches missile attack on U.S. bases

Turkish shares dropped on Wednesday after Iran launched a missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of its most senior military commander.

The BIST 100 index of shares declined 0.5 percent to 112,039 points at 11:58 a.m. in Istanbul.

Iran, a neighbour of Turkey, fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops earlier on Wednesday in retaliation for the U.S. air strike last week that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, which Iran labelled as an act of war and state terrorism.

The lira, which slumped in a currency crisis in 2018, was little changed at 5.97 per dollar. State-run banks have been supporting the currency in recent days and weeks by buying dollars.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is hosting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Istanbul at the opening ceremony for a joint natural gas pipeline. Both leaders have called for an urgent de-escalation of hostilities between the United States and the Islamic Republic. 

Washington has not announced details of any U.S. casualties from the missile strikes. Iran’s state-run television said 80 U.S. nationals were killed.